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[P]
An Ancient Reality Modification Device

By dTaylorSingletary in Culture
Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 07:44:42 AM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

Salvia divinorum is one of over a thousand species of sage and the only known to induce visions. At the time of this writeup it is legal to grow, consume, and distribute in every country on Earth. Effective June 1, 2002 anyone living in Australia or its territories will have their right of use denied, as the government has scheduled the substance.

It has also been called Ska Maria Pastora, Diviner's Sage, and just plain Salvia. It is to me, one of the most curiouser elements of this strange little world we find ourselves in.


History & Geography

Salvia divinorum is used by indigenous shamanic healers as a sacred medicine. Native to the Sierra Madre mountains in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, these healers are called curanderos, in Mazatec they are called cho-ta-ci-ne (one who knows). They use it when they consider a situation in need of them going into the supernatural world to discover the "true cause" of a patient's trouble. It can also be used to find the location of missing or stolen objects. Sometimes only the curandero uses it, sometimes they give it to their patient, and sometimes they take it together. Its use is lightly touched upon in antropological literature as used also by the Cuicatecs and Chinatecs. It is easily propogated so it is a suprise that its use and growth is not more widely spread than this small geographic area.

"One has to be very delicate with Pastora. It is the most dangerous plant we have," Aurelia Catarino Oseguera, a Mazatec-speaking 56-year-old shaman told Associated Press, "it opens doors in your head that let you see God, and that can be frightening."1 Some herbal healers say that when rubbed on the skin, Salvia can heal burns and make scars disappear, not to mention its headache-curing abilities.

What to Expect

Noise and distraction will interfere with the trip. Some sounds become grating on the nerves. Your conception of sound's representation may be significantly altered. The buzz of a refridgerator may become the table at which you are sitting in another universe. Some mental preperation is required for some people. There are no absolutes. Knowledge of quantum theory may aid the novice in understanding their mental states while besaged. Salvia divinorum is <u>not</u> a recreational drug. Use at partys, raves, around people you do not know, in public, and at concerts will in general be unproductive, if not maddening. Though there are always exceptions to any rule, it is best at the introductory level to not attempt use in any of the above situations.

First-time users should always have a sitter. If you are venturing into higher concentrations via tinctures or extracts, a sober sitter is important to insure you do not knock over lit candles, walk out a window, etc. Reality is separated on layers, and the user may not be on the same layer as the sitter.

Refering to trip reports is the best way to get an idea of what the salvia experience is like for a multitude of individuals. Factual information like this document may not be sufficient to prepare one for answering the question, "Is salvia right for me?" Consult Erowid or the Lycaeum if you are interested in a broad perspective of the variety of human experience.

the S-A-L-V-I-A scale (this portion taken from a document in the public domain2)

Salvia trips seem to occur in levels. The so-called S-A-L-V-I-A scale has been constructed to rate trips. Each letter of the word SALVIA stands for another level of tripping. The scale describes six different levels of intoxication, each one more intense than the previous. The overall intensity of Salvia trips is scored according to the highest scale level attained during the course of the trip.

Level - 1
"S" stands for SUBTLE effects. A feeling that "something" is happening, although it is difficulty to say just what. Relaxation and increased sensual appreciation may be noted. This mild level is useful for meditation and may facilitate sexual pleasure.

Level - 2
"A" stands for ALTERED perception. Colors and textures are more pronounced. Appreciation of music may be enhanced (or made more difficult, as the nature of static may take new forms). Space may appear of greater or lesser depth than is usual. But visions do not occur at this level. Thinking becomes less logical, and more playful; short-term memory difficulties may be noted.

Level - 3
"L" stands for LIGHT visionary state. Closed-eye visuals (clear imagery with eyes closed: fractal patterns, vine-like and geometric patterns, visions of objects and designs). The imagery is often two dimensional. If open-eyed visual effects occur, these are usually vague and fleeting. At this level, phenomena similar to the hypnagogic phenomena that some people experience at sleep onset occur. At this level, visions are experienced as "eye candy" but are not confused with reality.

Level - 4
"V" stands for VIVID visionary state. Complex three-dimensional realistic appearing scenes occur. Sometimes voices may be heard. With eyes open, contact with consensual reality will not be entirely lost, but when you close your eyes you may forget about consensus reality and enter completely into a dreamlike scene. Shamanistic journeying to other lands--foreign or imaginary; encounters with beings (entities, spirits) or travels to other ages may occur. You may even live the life of another person. At this level you have entered the shaman's world. Or if you prefer: you are in "dream time." With eyes closed, you experience fantasies (dream like happenings with a story line to them). So long as your eyes are closed you may believe they are really occurring. This differs from the "eye candy" closed-eye imagery, of level 3.

Level - 5
"I" stands for IMMATERIAL existence. At this level one may no longer be aware of having a body. Consciousness remains and some thought processes are still lucid, but one becomes completely involved in inner experience and looses all contact with consensual reality. Individuality may be lost; one experiences merging with God/dess, mind, universal consciousness, or bizarre fusions with other objects--real or imagined (e.g. experiences such as merging with a wall or piece of furniture). At this level it is impossible to function in consensual reality, but unfortunately some people do not remain still but move around in this befuddled state. For this reason a sitter is essential to ensure the safety of someone voyaging to these deep levels. To the person experiencing this the phenomenon may be terrifying or exceedingly pleasant; but to an outside observer the individual may appear confused or disoriented.

Level - 6
"A" stands for AMNESIC effects. At this stage, either consciousness is lost, or at least one is unable to later recall what one had experienced. The individual may fall, or remain immobile or thrash around; somnambulistic behavior may occur. Injuries can be sustained without pain being felt; on awakening, the individual will have no recollection of what he/she did, experienced, or said in level 6. People cannot recall what they experience in this very deep trance state. This is not a desirable level, because nothing can latter be recalled of the experience.

Methods of Use

Traditional Mazatec Methods
In a dark room, water-based drink created from ground fresh leaves is consumed, requiring a lot of leaves and tastes somewhat unpleasant and besides, salvia is very poorly absorbed by stomach ingestion. Trips last the longest from this method, though. The other traditional method employed by the Mazatecs is chewing and swallowing a large number of fresh leaves. Nibble the leaves for a 1/2 hour, the salvinorin absorbed by the tissues of the mouth will be the primary activator.

The Quid Method
Quids (a ball or cylinder of rolled-up leaves) are made from fresh or dried leaves, with the dried preperations being less bitter. Weigh out 2-8 grams or 8-28 large leaves and set them in a cool bowl of water for 10 minutes. Remove and squeeze the excess water out, and ball them into a quid. You can sweeten the quid with honey or sugar. Chew the quid slowly--one chew every 10 seconds. While not chewing, place the quid under your tongue. Continue this for half an hour, allowing the juices and quid to remain in your mouth, without spitting or swallowing if possible. Then when the duration is up, spit it all out.

One can increase the effect of the quid method by treating their mouth with a toothbrush and a mouthwash containing alcohol and menthol, like Cool Mint Listerine. Gently brush the lining of your mouth, the tissue under your tongue, removing the dead cells normally present. Do not make your mouth bleed. Rinse for 30 seconds, insuring that the mouthwash gets everywhere in your mouth. Rinse with water.

In the first 12-15 minutes of chewing you will likely experience nothing. Don't be misled. Full effects are usually felt 30 minutes into the chewing, remaining on this level for 20 minutes or more.

Smoking
One of the most important aspects of trying to smoke salvia is heat. For some plain leaf is not adequate to reach beyond the most basic effects, thus the appearance of extracts. Smoke must be inhaled deeply and quickly. It is best to hold a flame immediatly above the leaves, drawing it down the entire time you inhale. Because of these high temperatures and the density of salvia smoke, it is best to use a bong or water pipe. Do not use matches. It is important while smoking that you have a sitter because often you will forget at onset what exactly you were doing. You might drop and spill the pipe. First effects will become apparent within a minute. After five or six minutes the effects generally subside. Sometimes it will last up to an hour. For some untreated leaf will immediatly send them into salviaspace, a place of laughter, reality molding and general insanity. What produces a level-3 trip for one can produce none for the other.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that smoking without water filtration produces stronger effects. This makes sense, as salvia is known to lose its effects when in combination with water. Water is still recommended for those who cannot deal with the harshness of thick smoke.

A vaporizer can also be used, but with caution. This is the only way to reach certain level 5 and level 6 experiences and is not recommended for someone unexperienced with salvia.

There are 5x, 7x, and 10x extracts available from on-line dealers and occaisonal headshops. The selling from headshops is looked down upon by most of the salvia community. 5x extract is 5 times as powerful as standard leaf. Buyer beware.

Tincture
Daniel Siebert sells a tincture by the name of Sage Goddess Emerald Essence . One puts this in their mouth, either diluted or pure, and allows it to absorb under the tongue and in the tissues, similar to a quid. It irritates the mouth due to high-alcohol content. This is why it is often diluted in water. Instructions for its use is included when it is ordered. It is expensive, but perfect for use in prolonged journeys. Sublingual application is fun, but difficult to correctly perform. It is available for sale at his site, which can be found in the on-line resources section of this write up.

Salvinorin-A

The active substance of Salvia divinorum is salvinorin A. It is the most potent naturally occuring vision-inducer. It is not an alkaloid, containing only oxygen, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. it is a neoclerodane diterpenoid. Sensitivity varies from person to person, and 250 micrograms produce threshold effects. Swallowing is the least effective method of consumption. When utilizing pure salvinorin, safety should be the primary concern. NEVER WEIGH DOSAGE VISUALLY when using the pure substance. If you want to learn more about salvirorin's effects and chemistry consult: J Psychoactive Drugs 1994 Jul;26(3):277-283 Salvia divinorum and the unique diterpene hallucinogen, Salvinorin (divinorin) A. Valdes LJ 3rd.

The Plant, Itself

It looks like your normal houseplant. It has a green rectangular main stem from which nodes stem in alternate fashion. The leaves can be quite large and veiny. It is pleasant and inconspicuous. It has a "mouse-but-minty" aroma. It is a semi-tropical perennial, growing every year as long as you don't get it frosty. It can grow to be several meters high. It can flower (white flowers, purple calyces) but rarely sets seed. However, it can be propogated by cuttings. This is why it is popular and essential that salvia grower's share their plants. The leaves are emerald green, oval, and covered with fine hairs that give a satin-like appearance. They love water grow best in partial shade and well-drained soil. It is fun to grow Salvia.

Personal Notes on Salvia Divinorum

This is simply the most amazing substance that has ever entered into my body. I treat it with the highest reverence, and have thus only used it a handful of times. It has taken the world that I have known, ripped it into bits and pieces, taught me that it is possible to feel, think, and exist in a totally separate way than what my words could ever intone, that the words and feelings that we are accustomed to feeling and interpreting in this world--that the reality most people find consensual is only one reality of many, and that there really is truth in spirituality. I'd encountered a great deal of weird phenomena in my life before, but nothing prepared me for the teachings of this plant. The first few times I "went under" I was sure I could never face the real world again, knowing what I now knew. These feelings eventually subsided, integrated and now I walk amongst the people again. I simultaneously am attracted, obsessed, and deeply afraid of this plant, its mysteries, its histories and its stories.

I think there is nothing more important in its research than so-called trip reports. Reading them and writing them are the most direct way to not only get a feeling of what the plant and the human mind/soul are capable of, but also in understanding what is really going on here. I try my best to filter my experiences into my fiction, hoping that someday people will be able to read and find little bits of truth here and there that will help them to cope with the universe. I find that salvia helps me understand complex subjects like quantum theory, psychology, social engineering, advertising, even September 11, 2001.

With that said, it is imperative that any person wanting to try salvia read all that they can prior to its use. Safety is a priority, and keeping it legal is going to be a battle in the next few years, with Australia recently scheduling the substance on the same level as heroin. This is not a recreational drug, and has been low on the cultural radar until recently. Consumerism and profiteering have found its way into the substance's distribution, endangering its legality. It can now be found at headshops, usually without any instructions for its use. It is often sold as a marijuanna-substitute, for which it most CERTAINLY is not. Before sharing with friends, before trying it yourself, seek information about its use. Read more than just this writeup. And please, do not give it to anyone you know who has psychotic episodes or has a history of violence or stupidity. This is not to be taken lightly. It is for those who want to see a little more clearly, who are not satisfied with the senses and world around them. For those who have a calling to something higher. Of course, for some people it will be none of these things, and that's fine. Nothing is anything, anyway, only what you make it.

Legality in the United States

FACT: The DEA branch of the U.S. government says this about salvia: "Chemically, Salvinorin A is a neoclerodane diterpene, a psychotropic terpeniod. There are at least two types of terpenoids differentiated by the presence or absence of nitrogen. The nitrogen-containing terpenoids are called "thujones". The grouping of "thujones" includes Salvia Divinorum, Absinth (wormwood), and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) found in marijuana... Salvia is being smoked to induce hallucinations similar to the other thujone derivatives, such as THC... Salvia Divinorum, Salvinorin A, and Divinorin A are not listed in the Controlled Substances Act. If sold for human consumption, Salvia may be subject to control under the Analogue statutes because of its functional pharmacological similarities to other CI hallucinogens like THC."

FACT: The U.S. government is LYING and/or MISTAKEN. a. Salvia is not a thujone, it is a diterpene. b. Neither is THC, it is a cannabinol. c. Thujone is a monoterpene. They do say these things in the above statements, but they mix up their chain of relation. Some of their chains are mutually exclusive. Consult the DEA. Consult Daniel Siebert's website for a truth.

Online Resources of Information

Mailing Lists
SalviaD - Daniel Siebert often posts to this list, as well as scientific experts of the field. Often trip reports are posted as well. Discussion ranges from basic questions to more advanced topics, to questions regarding reality. 960 members.

SkaMariaPastora - Discussions of more spirtual relationships with the plant. "This dicussion will hopefully enlighten many to the wonders of this divine sage. Help keep it available by having church meetings. Support by sharing personal verses and historical facts about the spiritual use of Salvia Divinorum. Grow stronger in your life and learn many new things about yourself by following the teachings of Ska Maria Pastora." 219 members.

SalviaDAlliance - Salvianauts unite and discuss more abstract aspects of the salvia experience. Disputes the existence and details of a Three Realities model of existence. Keeps good archives, though sometimes in the opinion of this author, borders on the eccentric. 52 members.

Websites
Daniel Siebert's website:
Though I find the website's design almost appalling, it must be said that the amount of information here is almost complete. Siebert was the first to isolate salvinorin A from salvia, and as a well-respected scientist, he can be considered the authority of salvia-related topics. Links to many published scientific articles can be found here, as well as images of the plant, its chemical makeup, and he also sells extracts, the Sage Goddess Emerald Essence Tincture, and more. The Salvia FAQ and user's guide from which most of the information that made up this writeup can be found here too.

Erowid's Salvia Trip Reports:
You cannot deny the experiences of others. This is the most indispensible resource of information about salvia on the internet.

1Cosmiverse
2The Salvia Divnorum User's Guide.

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Poll
Salvia divinorum is...
o a plant/machine selectively bred by generations of Mazatecs. 14%
o is the psychedelic I've been waiting my whole life for. 16%
o interests me none whatsoever. 24%
o interests me in waves of fury! Must... litigate.. now! 6%
o dangerous to the fabric of our current society. 8%
o harmless. 29%

Votes: 61
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Do not adjust your mind, it is reality that is malfunctioning.
o me
o trip reports
o the DEA
o SalviaD
o SkaMariaPa stora
o SalviaDAll iance
o Daniel Siebert's website
o Erowid's Salvia Trip Reports
o Cosmiverse
o The Salvia Divnorum User's Guide
o Also by dTaylorSingletary


Display: Sort:
An Ancient Reality Modification Device | 189 comments (163 topical, 26 editorial, 0 hidden)
Quantum theory? what? (4.27 / 11) (#1)
by xriso on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:06:55 PM EST

"Knowledge of quantum theory may aid the novice in understanding their mental states while besaged."

How is that so? I thought that quantum mechanics dealt with particles, and that noticeable macroscopic effects are improbable.

Or, perhaps you are talking about the popular quantum mysticism?
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)

rambling (4.00 / 3) (#2)
by dTaylorSingletary on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:15:45 PM EST

It would of course be the somwhat popular quantum mysticism. For living in the light and shadows of the mystery makes reality for me a whole lot more comfortable. Without subscribing to any particularities and adapting a model that is constant flux (in other words, positioning my fault of indecisiveness around the curvy "what-if's" of mystic-physics. :P The amount that I take anything seriously enough to believe in is in direct correspondence with my ability to change those beliefs as well. This flexibility, again I stress is a hindrance to this reality, but aides strongly in another. Or maybe not. I'll stop rambling.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com
[ Parent ]
So, what you're saying is that your drug-use has (3.71 / 7) (#22)
by Demiurge on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:19:08 PM EST

so addled your critical thinking capacities that you're unable to form a coherent view of reality?  Or even to realize what is real or unreal?

[ Parent ]
flux you up (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by dTaylorSingletary on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:38:57 PM EST

no, it's that nothing in my world is concrete enough to affix a lingual marker on it for more than a few moments. I prefer not to name things when they are always in flux. But I'll change my mind about that last sentence before the next one is through being typed. The critical thinking capabilities never cease, and that is why there is no coherent view of reality. The coherent views only adhere once the crit. think. is put on pause. Knowing what is real and what is unreal may be very easy for some, because on many levels it is quite easy. This is a tv show. This is a web site. This is reality. Those things can be very separate. But there's also another level to things, where the very being of things can be so inseperable that the concept of real and unreal -- a dichotomy, and almost any dichotomies, become inpenatrable. What you say simplifies the matter. But then again, simplified matters are once again the source problem, and the infinite regressional thinking loops over itself once more. For many, this sort of so-called solipstic thinking can go on forever, or stop as soon as requested by another part of the consciousness. Flux.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com
[ Parent ]
You don't really speak the language (4.00 / 5) (#42)
by Demiurge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:31:46 AM EST

as much as you chew on it and spit it out.  Do you have even the slightest idea about anything you're speaking about?

[ Parent ]
I would think that ... (none / 0) (#143)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:50:36 PM EST

... the changing nature of things in reality is one of the best reasons to attach names, aka "lingual markers", to them... not a reason to withhold names altogether. How could one say that the edges are fuzzy without the a proper concept of what the center is? Naming is a good way to pin down the centers, find the fuzzy edges, and start the next step of finding the ever smaller centers to name.

Consider this quote on the topic.



[ Parent ]

Deep understanding (3.93 / 15) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:31:13 PM EST

Do you still understand such complex issues after you're done with your trip? If not, I'd expect that you don't actually understand these things, you only think you do.

"Expanding your mind" is all well and good on a recreational basis, but don't start to think that you're on a higher plane of existence just because your brain chemistry has gone out of whack. :)
--
I am a calm and tranquil flower.

Try the new Aborted Fœtus McFlurry! Cool and refreshing!
[ Hug Your Trikuare

layered/non-layered (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by dTaylorSingletary on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:39:02 PM EST

I understand the issues afterwards, for myself personally because I wait years in between salvia journeys. During this time I digest a large amount of literature on the subjects I'm thinking about and go on to reconcile the thoughts and ideas, mainly just questions that arise in those experiences, through the constant quest for knowledge and information that anyone is on the quest for. I make no motions to bring my self as a higher state of being in comparisons to others, as the concepts of higher and lowers have just about been zapped from my category-making capabilities. Are there any places in the article above where I am perhaps pushing my readers to retain assumptions that I may not truly desire them to? thanks, dTS.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com
[ Parent ]
Ah, okay (2.50 / 4) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:50:07 PM EST

I had kind of assumed that, like most articles espousing the merits of getting high, you were trying to imply that the drug-addled state was a truly higher form of consciousness and so on, like stereotypical pot smokers and acidheads. Of course, when they come down from their high, the "insights" they gained were "too complex for a mundane brain."
--
I am a calm and tranquil flower.

Try the new Aborted Fœtus McFlurry! Cool and refreshing!
[ Hug Your Trikuare[ Parent ]

Complex thoughts (none / 0) (#92)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:06:04 PM EST

Reminds me of a time a friend of mine was convinced that he had differentiated a pencil, mathematically speaking, while on acid.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Enlightenment (5.00 / 4) (#7)
by ucblockhead on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:37:32 PM EST

The most enlightening acid trip I ever had was the trip where I resolved to write down all the enlightening stuff that occurred to me during the trip. The enlightening part occurred the next day, long after I came down, when I read all the wonderful stuff I'd written the night before. It was all utterly banal and trivially obvious goofy shit.

As you say, these sorts of drugs don't "expand your mind". They cause your mind to think it is expanded.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

I think one of the most important lessons... (3.66 / 3) (#107)
by ragabr on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:09:15 PM EST

of enlightenment is that all that "banal" stuff isn't anymore banal than everything else. "banal" is a subjective judgement that has no bearing on objective reality.

I'd say that you missed the real lesson from writing all that down.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
Amen. (none / 0) (#142)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:36:22 PM EST

Here and now, boys. Here and now.



[ Parent ]

My Own Experiences (4.75 / 4) (#8)
by Canar on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:55:07 PM EST

I have never tried Salvia before. I'm somewhat interested, just not enough to try and wrangle some up. I do have experience with both psilocybe mushrooms and LSD, though.

It's difficult to describe the end-results of a good (or even controlled bad, as my most recent would probably be described) trip to someone who has no experience. I can throw and manipulate incredibly complex concepts in my mind while under chemical influence. Think of it like stumbling onto a math theorem, I suppose: You're sitting there thinking, working your mind in an almost mechanical fashion, pulling thoughts apart, putting them together, and you notice correlations that you decide to look into further. Eventually, just by working with it all, you come to a conclusion or some general pattern that has emerged. You note this in one way or another for reference after the trip. Then, later, you look at it, look at the reasoning, and think either "Wow, that all works!" or "Wow, I was really high!"

To use a metaphor, the difficult part is finding the path from Point A to Point B. After you've mapped it, you can try walking it again, and see if your map is accurate.

Other times, you just get these brief glimpses of higher concepts, without being able to get to the final conclusion. I'm aware enough of the way I think to know what conclusions to trust while under the influence. I suppose self-awareness is the most critical element of taking something positive out of a trip. On a related note, the main reason I trip is to increase my self-awareness, and understand myself more thoroughly. I don't believe that people who have never touched substances can truly understand themselves at the level that people who have can.

Before I get attacked for that, I'd like to qualify a bit: Drugs alter the way you think. By studying the ways that your mind has been altered, you can understand more clearly the way it was initially.



[ Parent ]
On a very basic level.... (none / 0) (#102)
by blixco on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:53:47 PM EST

How would you describe "understanding" in relation to brain chemistry? The neurotransmitters involved with cognitive thought may be, in fact, positively boosted (or in some way positively altered) to construct a better state for understanding. A richer, more capable chemistry for thinking.

How much of Understanding relies on thinking the same way about the same things? These types of drugs may help break the thinker of those habits, enabling a new thought process, allowing the person to get out of the "rut" of classical ideas and consensus understanding.

Maybe it is all a hallucination, but the ability to see around corners may be just what the person needs to enable a whole new way of thinking. Look at mathematics: how much would we know today about the world with only a 10th century view of math? Not saying that drugs helped break thru those barriers, but for some people, the effects are that significant. The individual may require such boosts and changes in brain chemistry.

And some folks are willing to give it a shot. Some aren't. What I don't understand is the blanket condemnation by either side, as represented throughout this article's discussions.


-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Salvia (4.40 / 15) (#13)
by Nick Ives on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:31:37 PM EST

I like Salvia =).

The first time I ever had a breakthrough experience on Salvia it was most intense. A massive vortex pattern spread across the ground and floor, I originally thought that my mind was playing off the pattern on the carpet but I later found out there wasn't a pattern on the carpet at all. I've also done 'shrooms and I'd say the geometric hallucinations were somewhat similar that you get whilst coming up on them. After I lost depth perception and also started to completely loose touch with external reality, it was like being heavily drunk except my mind was utterly clear.

After falling through a surreal vortex for what felt like 10minutes or so (although it was only about 2 minutes, I was keeping track of time using a song that was playing in the background which I could still hear) I started to get a vision of myself in the third person in what appeared to be a hospital bed in a private room and I could see myself slowly waking up out of it. I knew (in pretty much the same way that you get sudden realisations on acid) that I was waking from a long coma and this entire reality was all just a dream.

The entire experience lasted at most about 15 minutes. When I could fineally move about again I felt very uncomfortable, I was sweating profusly when I was coming up on the Salvia and it felt quite uncomfortable to actually have control over things like limbs. My sense of reality was distorted for quite a few days afterwards, I had the sense that at any point I would just wake up from this dream and have to start a completely new life in another reality even though I knew that the Salvia itself was the real hallucination.

I knew exactly what I was getting into when I tried Salvia. I had read about it online and was very pleasently surprised when I was visiting a friend at Uni and he randomly offered me some. That was the trip I described above, btw.

You mention that the selling of Salvia at headshops is generally looked down upon and I'd say with good reason. At Glastonbury this year that damnable "herbal highs co" had big signs for it. I dont think they were really explaining what it was to people and I should imagine most people did something like try to put it in a joint which just doesnt work as you have to smoke Salvia extremly quickly at a high temperature. Even if they did manage to trip off it then it would be a very unpleasent surprise if they didnt know what it was they were getting into. This is why I believe that any regulatory framework under legalisation should require people selling psychoactive substances to give information on what it is they are selling both in the form of spoken advice, which means you have to train your salespeople, and leaflets and other reading material that the user can take away with them. Even if your a free market capitalist you have to agree with that because it basically amounts to giving an honest description of what it is your selling.

Salvia was fun my first time because I knew that I was about to seriously alter my perceptions of reality, if I was sat outside a tent at Glastonbury and that had hit me unawares then it would probably have been most uncomfortable. I would have managed, but then again I managed to find my way back to my tent from the other side of the site whilst heavily tripping on 'shrooms, I'm good with heavy psychoactives.

I've since done Salvia a few more times with varied results. I dont use it regularly but its definately a substance I'm glad I've come in contact with. So yea, safe tripping to everyone out there...

--
Nick
~.

Salvia Divinorum Extractions and Photographs (none / 0) (#189)
by Salvinorin on Thu May 22, 2003 at 12:00:45 AM EST

You can find out how to extract Salvinorin from Salvia Divinorum leaf at the following web site: http://forums.lycaeum.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=000 965 Also, you can see awesome photographs of Salvinorin crystals at this site: http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/salvinorin2003/lst?&.dir=/IPA+Extractions+at+Room +Temp./Salvinorin+Crystals&.src=ph&.begin=9999&.view=t&.order=&a mp;.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/bc/salvinorin2003/lst%3f%26.dir=/IPA%2bExtrac tions%2bat%2bRoom%2bTemp./Salvinorin%2bCrystals%26.src=ph%26.view=t

[ Parent ]
Smokedot (3.90 / 10) (#14)
by ShadowNode on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:36:13 PM EST

Please crosspost this to Smokedot.

Oh please. (3.92 / 26) (#15)
by /dev/trash on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:46:11 PM EST

It's a chemical that messes with certain receptors and chemicals in the brain.  It doesn't make 'reality' clearer and it doesn't get you closer to god.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
Which ones? (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by Wondertoad on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:34:14 PM EST

I was hoping that the article would go into how the effects actually come about, what brain chemicals it might be pretending to be, etc. Isn't that one way to judge the safety of it? I've read that weed's safety record is due to the fact that cannabinoids are taken up by the anandamide receptors, and that none of these receptors are in the parts of the brain that control involuntary functions. That makes sense. How does salvia actually work?

[ Parent ]
westerners. (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by dTaylorSingletary on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:41:22 PM EST

It's not all quite understood yet. The links to Daniel Sieberts site has the most up to date scientific articles on salvinorin A, but the ultimate conclusions of where what effects which have not quite been uncovered. Anecdotal evidence (tribal use) shows little to no adverse side effects over time, but for us "Westerners" things could be a lot clearer.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com
[ Parent ]
Possibly (3.80 / 5) (#26)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:36:08 PM EST

That's possibly true.. but you are just a bunch of electrons shooting around in my computer. Why should I believe that you are anything more than that, since I've never met you myself?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Correct!! (2.25 / 4) (#66)
by rabbits77 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:13:48 AM EST

And this is why being under the influence makes one immediately uncredible in the eyes of the law. If you want to volunterily marginalize yourself and make yourself stupid then use drugs!! And here is a clue to all these people who think that there is a government conspiracy to maintain the illigality of drugs: Who profits from illegal drugs? Not the government, the dealers and illegal drug suppliers , of course. You are just a slave to some habit, good for you. Please kill yourself using a faster method, next time.

[ Parent ]
The government doesn't profit? (4.00 / 2) (#69)
by tzanger on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:36:43 AM EST

Who profits from illegal drugs? Not the government, the dealers and illegal drug suppliers , of course.

So the government agencies don't get extra funding to wage this war on drugs?



[ Parent ]
well (2.50 / 2) (#73)
by /dev/trash on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:14:27 AM EST

You are looking at one end.  Look at the liabilities too.  Drug treatment paid by Medicare and Medicaid.  Tax revenue lost due to job loss.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by synaesthesia on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:31:32 AM EST

...you are looking at it from one moral standpoint. Imagine the amount of money that could be saved if the War on Some Drugs wasn't being fought. Or, look at it from the other point of view: alcohol and tobacco are just as expensive (if not more so) than drugs in the way you describe, so bring back prohibition. The reason you'd be a fool to do so is the same reason governments are foolish to make other drugs illegal: people are going to take them anyway, and you'll still have to foot the medicare / job loss bill.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Medicare, Medicaid (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by vectro on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:36:45 PM EST

... are only available to people over 65; not exactly your primary drug-use crowd.

Furthermore, I challenge you to find me any statistics that show the government has had to pay any significant amount for treatment of cannabis users.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Government Profit (none / 0) (#161)
by vectro on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:34:56 PM EST

Please consult siezure laws pertinent to your juristiction.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
you have no point (none / 0) (#177)
by rabbits77 on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 12:43:12 AM EST

In the US, at least, any fruit of a criminal enterprise is subject to seizure, not just poisoning the population but any most felonies. Of course this makes sense or else you could just walk out of jail and viola!! enjoy the rewards of your crimes.

[ Parent ]
My life is not meaningless. (none / 0) (#178)
by vectro on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 02:22:47 AM EST

These remarks pertain mostly to the US, however similar laws are in effect in many other western countries.
  1. Forfieture laws allow sale of assets without a conviction. While you wait for a trial, the police sell your car - if you're aquitted, you don't get the car back.
  2. Forfieture laws are used in plea bargining, allowing one to in effect buy one's way out of a crime by forfieting assets. We usually call this a bribe, but forfieture laws make it legal.
  3. Forfieture is often out of scope with the crime. Example: Teenager's friend brings an ounce of pot into your house? Forfiet the house.
  4. Forfieture money generally goes to police departments. This encourages corruption; the money should be paid to the general treasury or earmarked for a specific purpose (e.g., education)
  5. Forfieture laws are often tried in civil courts, which have much lower standards of evidence.
And finally, of course, there is the issue of a massive government bureaucracy necessitated by the  War On Drugs -- without drug illegality, literally millions of government jobs would be eliminated. That's what I call profit.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Stop trying to make everything black and white (none / 0) (#167)
by MUD on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 04:52:35 PM EST

Oversimplifying things in this manner doesn't help anyone. Drugs do not necessarily make you stupid. Oh, you mean illegal drugs? The same thing still applies. It's not good enough to just group a bunch of substances together, label them "drugs" and then decry them for that reason only.

As for being a slave to some habit, the subject of this story is salvia divinorum. It is a psychadelic/hallucinogen and is not addictive.

[ Parent ]
Explain to me... (none / 0) (#105)
by ragabr on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:02:42 PM EST

why altering your brains chemistry, which has the final say for what your reality is, absolutely does not have any chance of making reality clearer?

As for your statement about getting closer to God, who's to say, if God exists, that drugs aren't one of the ways to come into contact with it? You're just kneejerking based on your world view, without any real basis for the claims your making. Perhaps it would have been better to say something like "I don't see any way drugs could open one up to God" which allows for discussion, instead of your automatic write-off which, to anyone who actually takes a second to think, makes you sound like a fool whether they agree with your analysis or not.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
well. (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by /dev/trash on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:22:41 PM EST

If it truly was the way to get closer to God, do you think he/she'd not allow it to be regulated so much?  Or perhaps teh regulation is because of Satan.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
War on Drugs (none / 0) (#160)
by vectro on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:32:58 PM EST

Well, it could be the work of the devil.

Seriously, though, pretty much all major religons have been subjugated at some point in their history.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

That is... (none / 0) (#176)
by ragabr on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 08:56:50 PM EST

a horribly limited perception of God.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
I'd love to hear the other side of the story (3.75 / 4) (#17)
by Stereo on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:00:09 PM EST

Why is Australia banning it? Are they concerned about safety? Are there any dangers?

kuro5hin - Artes technicae et humaniores, a fossis


People are afraid of things they don't understand (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:33:29 PM EST

It's as simple as that.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Especially things that fuck with neurochemistry (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by Demiurge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:19:02 AM EST

It is, in fact, a good thing to be a little bit worried about introducing a substance into your body that has psychoactive effects that no one really knows the causes of.

[ Parent ]
Agree 100% (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:52:52 AM EST

I agree with you. Nobody should use psychedelic drugs without being fully educated on the matter. However, the "fuck with neurochemistry" part is mostly a myth. Many people have this idea that psychedelics, such as LSD, either stay in your system or have permanent effects that persist after the trip. In most cases, and for most drugs, this isn't true.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
From the Salvia divinorum "FAQ" (5.00 / 5) (#31)
by ti dave on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:58:40 PM EST

From http://www.angelfire.com/sd/sdarchive/faq.html#Section%2011

Yeah, I know.. Angelfire. Grain of Salt. Yada Yada Yada.

Q. Does Salvia cause brain damage?
A. Not so far as is known. However salvinorin has some phenomenological similarities to dissociatives such as PCP and ketamine, and these dissociatives can cause brain damage (Olney's Lesions) if taken in very high dose. Therefore the possibility that salvinorin might cause brain damage if taken in excessive dosage cannot be completely discounted. However, there have been no reports of any brain damage from salvinorin in man or animals. For those chewing quids of Salvia leaves there would seem to be no danger of brain damage at all. Chewing leaves is the very safe traditional mode of use. For those vaporizing pure salvinorin in high dosage who knows? Vaporizing pure salvinorin makes possible dosages far in excess of that any traditional user has encountered, so the safety of traditional usage patterns cannot guarantee the safety of using pure salvinorin.

Q. Can you take a fatal overdose?
A. No case of fatal salvinorin poisoning has been reported. The human oral lethal dose is not known but is believed to be extremely high. Leander Valdes, III provided the following information for inclusion in this FAQ regarding acute toxicity studies in mice: "I tested Salvinorin A intraperitoneally in mice at very high doses and it appeared to be not very toxic. This was long before the compound was being taken orally and it was testing about as potent as mescaline in the assay I was using. In light of the extreme potency of the compound, I think it quite possible and probably very likely that it was not being well absorbed. I had it in a mix of corn oil, tween 80 (a fancy emulsifier) and water. Dissolving the compound in solvents such as ethanol, acetone or DMSO probably delivers quite a bit more drug to the body (I didn't use them because I wanted an inactive vehicle). " Swallowed salvinorin is not well absorbed. The chances of inadvertently swallowing a lethal overdose of an oral preparation of leaves, slurry or elixir are extremely low. If salvinorin is inhaled as multiple inhalations of leaf smoke or vapor one could reasonably expect to pass out before he/she could take a lethal overdose. But significantly, nothing is known about the toxic effects of smoking truly massive 'single bolus' doses of pure salvinorin, such a practice might be quite dangerous, and should certainly be avoided. Although fatal poisoning from Salvia divinorum appears to be very unlikely to occur; there is another type of lethal overdose --- one that kills not by poisoning but by impairing judgment and survival instincts and causing fatal injury. If you smoked salvinorin and then walked out of a ten story window you would be very dead indeed. That's why sitters are needed when smoking or vaporizing high doses.

I'd like to say that for the author to claim "You cannot make a fatal overdose on Salvia leaves." is somewhat disingenuous.
Clearly, more studies on the toxicity of Salvia are indicated.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
because they fail to see the implications (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by strlen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:21:43 AM EST

they ban it for the same reason we've put restriction on tobbaco smoking, restrictions on alcohol, restrictions on other drugs, and coming soon restrictions on what you'll be able to see. the argument that it may be dangerous to some people (which i'm not refuting), is good enough for them to deem a drug legal. the factors of consent do no enter their decision making.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Because Australia is banning everything (4.50 / 2) (#67)
by Wulfius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:16:20 AM EST

Australia is often used as a testing ground for new ideas in technology and mind control (also called marketing). We have a conservative gummint at this time. They have a minority, very rich, very fundamentalist, right wing lunatic component. They can not stand people with differing view to theirs and they have one solution for it; "Ban it". Unforunately people in Australia are so apathetic that they just spread their buttonck and moan "Give it to me baby".

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Sounds like America (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by criquet on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:43:46 PM EST

Are you sure you're talking about Australia?

[ Parent ]
Danke... (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by aubz dawg on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:52:29 PM EST

Thanx for the info.


Poop! Its just fun to say!

k5 drug cabal says: dissent disallowed (3.88 / 25) (#40)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:42:28 AM EST

Users of the drug who wax rhapsodic about their hallucinatory experiences get voted up, people who express negative opinions get voted down. This doesn't really surprise me, but it still annoys me; I wonder why the usual cry of "censorship!" hasn't been swiftly raised?

What's far more disturbing are the subtle ways in which this article misleads the reader. Once past the convoluted title (reality modification device?), the introduction gives the impression that the article will be about government efforts to illegalize the drug. It soon becomes apparent, however, that what we have here is nothing but a usage guide with a justification for use that approaches the religious in its tone. That anyone would have so much reverence for a plant is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Also of interest is the implied proposition that people have a "right" to use this or any other drug. But that no doubt goes along with the widespread trend of inventing "rights" for any and all vices or peculiar habits that are felt to be in need of justification. Conferring upon a thing or activity the status of being a "right" is the modern equivalent of issuing a papal bull: the newly-created right is neatly placed out of the reach of criticism, since the violation of a right is inherently suggested in its questioning, a sin which the true believer is loathe to commit.

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.

On K5, rating a post based on how well it conforms (3.60 / 10) (#41)
by Demiurge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:22:40 AM EST

with your own ideological stance seems to be par for the course, sadly.  And with the increasingly shrill and strident intellectually shallow leftist thugs who have overrun k5, things will  just get worse.

[ Parent ]
very nice of you to use pigeon holes (3.60 / 5) (#44)
by strlen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:13:06 AM EST

i'd argue the single most prominent ideology on kuro5hin is still libertarianism, or flavors of it. the leftists are too busy fighting themselves, to have any sort of unified 'leftism' anyway. or do you just lump anyone who oposes the war on drugs, as a leftist. for the record if we're going to be pigeon holing others, wouldn't that mean pigeon holing you as a 'leftist' as you support gun control? k5 has a very diverse ideological population, don't pigeon hole people because you do see some sort of a trend in opinions on a certain issue.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
agreed... (none / 0) (#148)
by omegadan on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 01:39:55 AM EST

I posted a great response to the LSD story run recently (anti-drug), and was moded down to nothing by retards. Ive only been participating on K5 for a year now and I really feel things are trending down.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

the concept of rights (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by strlen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:19:06 AM EST

the user is likely to hold a negative theory of right. meaning rights are only 'what others _can't_ do', which generally means you have a right to life/limb, liberty, and property -- meaning attacks on on life/limb, liberty and property of others are the only thing that you _CAN'T_ do, and everything else you can. hence is why many hold drugs to be legal, that the direct use of drugs directly harms no-one besides the user, who consents to taking the drug.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
What a ridiculous argument (2.83 / 6) (#47)
by Demiurge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:39:13 AM EST

All the Libertarian noise about how people should have access to illegal and dangerous drugs comes down to "It's my body so I can put whatever I want in it, as it's only harming me."  Of course, that's completely untrue as it's a vast over-simplification of the problem.  It most certainly doesn't apply to other legalized drugs, such as alcohol.  You're the one choosing to drink, but you're not the one being run down by a drunken driver.  Not to mention that most violent crime takes place when the offender is under the influence of some sort of narcotic, illegal or legal.


This argument also assumes that all people are perfectly capable of making accurate, well-informed decisions.  It's often difficult or impossible to know what the ramifications of your actions are going to be.  For example, this article conveniently forgets to mention that very little is known about  Salvinorin A, the psychoactive ingredient of Salvia.  Chemically, Salvinorin A is a neoclerodane diterpene, a psychotropic terpeniod.  The grouping of psychoactive plants containing terpenoid essentials includes Salvia Divinorum, Wormwood (Absinth), and  Cannabis Sativa (tetrahydrocannabinols, THC).  It binds to no known neurotransmitters, and there simply isn't a whole lot of good information about the drug out there.   It would be fallacious to believe that because of that it's harmless, as the author seems to "think".

[ Parent ]
re: (5.00 / 2) (#48)
by strlen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:57:28 AM EST

All the Libertarian noise about how people should have access to illegal and dangerous drugs comes down to "It's my body so I can put whatever I want in it, as it's only harming me." Of course, that's completely untrue as it's a vast over-simplification of the problem. It most certainly doesn't apply to other legalized drugs, such as alcohol. You're the one choosing to drink, but you're not the one being run down by a drunken driver. Not to mention that most violent crime takes place when the offender is under the influence of some sort of narcotic, illegal or legal.

Whoever is running me over is already commiting a crime by doing that. I'm not against preventing drunk driving by using stiff penalities and stiff enforcement of such penalities. But the fact is, the individual makes a choice whether to get drunk or not before driving a car. If you out law alcohol, he'll be yacking on the cell phone, if you outlaw cell phones, he'll be changing CD's in the car.. outlaw just about anything, and they'll still find a way to run you over, but just at that point a more responsible driver would be left with no freedoms to speak off.

This argument also assumes that all people are perfectly capable of making accurate, well-informed decisions. It's often difficult or impossible to know what the ramifications of your actions are going to be. For example, this article conveniently forgets to mention that very little is known about Salvinorin A, the psychoactive ingredient of Salvia. Chemically, Salvinorin A is a neoclerodane diterpene, a psychotropic terpeniod. The grouping of psychoactive plants containing terpenoid essentials includes Salvia Divinorum, Wormwood (Absinth), and Cannabis Sativa (tetrahydrocannabinols, THC). It binds to no known neurotransmitters, and there simply isn't a whole lot of good information about the drug out there. It would be fallacious to believe that because of that it's harmless, as the author seems to "think".

Actually I'm not making that assumption, I perfect under stand that there's stupid people, but I also perfectly understand the meaning of phrases such as 'leave them alone' or 'fuck-em'. That's called life. Individuals make choices for stupid reasons, and then face with the consequences. Drugs aren't the only case where it's expressed. Individuals make stupid choices when getting themselves into tons of debt for instance, or when getting married to a money-digging whore and ending up losing all they have in a divorce. Or not using a condom and getting a nice STD. If someone makes dumb choices and is surprised that they have to face the consequences, so fuck 'em. If you outlaw Salvia they'll drill holes in their head and perform D-I-Y lobotomies to "expand their conciousness", or something along those lines. But someone who is truely interested (and is willing to take the health risk) simply loses the right to legally use salvia., for whatever purpose they may have. Its not up to you to decide whether a risk someone is taking is worth what they'll gain as a result.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
most violent crime (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by FredBloggs on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:10:13 AM EST

"Not to mention that most violent crime takes place when the offender is under the influence of some sort of narcotic, illegal or legal."

Alcohol. I`d find it hard to believe that much violent crime has been caused under the effects of hallucinogens.  You sometimes see lurid headlines about a guy `on acid` (sic) doing mad things and risking his life, or ending it, but you never seem to see similar reports about people using alcohol. I guess its an issue of space - you could devote a whole page to each acid story, but simply summarize the alcohol ones ("this week we had 25,253 assaults, 23 deaths while drunk" etc?).

"This argument also assumes that all people are perfectly capable of making accurate, well-informed decisions"

I`m not going to suffer and lose out on a potentially life changing experience because some fuckwit is incapable of doing anything right.

I`ll defend to my death peoples right to say what they like....at the same time i`ll defend to someone elses death MY right to do what I like with MY body.

[ Parent ]

The problem is.... (3.00 / 4) (#52)
by Demiurge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:16:02 AM EST

What you do with your body invariably affects the rest of us.  Even if it's fairly minor.  No man is an island, and all that.  To take a rather trite example, what do you think the productivity cost to the economy is due to illegal drugs?

Finally, there's an issue of morals.  Just because someone does something wrong that doesn't directly affect you doesn't mean it's permissable.  Just because someone murders someone I don't know doesn't make it acceptable.

[ Parent ]
invariably? (5.00 / 2) (#56)
by FredBloggs on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:37:11 AM EST

Sometimes maybe.

"To take a rather trite example, what do you think the productivity cost to the economy is due to illegal drugs?"

I think existance of a law prohibiting (sic) possession/sale of heroin is costing most countries millions in prison costs, court hearings and, most importantly, insurance, for all the shoplifting, burglary and robberies. (To say nothing of the deaths caused due to impurities, turf dispute shootings,stabbings etc, innocent bystanders getting shot, poor people selling drugs to get by and ending up in prison etc.

If you mean `money lost to businesses due to drug use` i`d suggest it pales into insignificance compared to alcohol (ab)use. Prohibitionists react to comparisons with legal (but far more damaging drugs) in a similar way to the wicked witch in the wizard of Oz reacted to water.

"Just because someone does something wrong that doesn't directly affect you doesn't mean it's permissable.  Just because someone murders someone I don't know doesn't make it acceptable."

WTF? Are you sure you arent on drugs? If an act doesnt affect anyone else, then in my eyes its not `wrong` (whatever that means). Its certainly not immoral, in my value system, to take a drug. Go away and read `on liberty` by Mills, then come back and tell me why someone taking a drug, at home, out of the site of children or whatever you`re worried about, is `wrong`. Also, go and read `LSD by problem child` by Hoffman, or PIKHAL by Shulgin. Then you`ll have a little knowledge of what hallucinogens are used for, why they are (in my eyes) very important to society (and why they have been, and still are, used in psychotherapy in Europe.

[ Parent ]

Morals and rights (4.75 / 4) (#60)
by pyramid termite on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:40:21 AM EST

To take a rather trite example, what do you think the productivity cost to the economy is due to illegal drugs?

You've only got a "right" to my productivity if you're paying me money to do something for me. And if I'm doing what you wanted me to do, then what I do on the weekend shouldn't concern you, as long as I show up on Monday morning and do the job you want me to do.

Finally, there's an issue of morals.

Whose morals? According to the morals of some Mexican tribes, taking Silvia is a religious sacrament and therefore quite moral.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Mexican tribes? (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:59:32 AM EST

As you may have noticed, Mexican tribes are not really involved in this debate. Hence their morality would seem to be inconsequential.

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

Did you READ the article? <nt> (none / 0) (#82)
by pyramid termite on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:06:49 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Of course I read the article (3.33 / 3) (#87)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:22:41 PM EST

I also reread it just now, and I still fail to see how the moral mores of Mexican tribes have any bearing on the debate that this article has spawned, which seems to be taking place among slightly more civilized peoples (Australia and the U.S. are both mentioned in the article).

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

In other words ... (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by pyramid termite on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:55:02 PM EST

... that some Mexicans believe that this drug is a "sacred medicine" should have no bearing on whether it is legal in the US, in spite of there being Mexicans in the US, in spite of our having a constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion, and in spite of the drug being legal right now. Are you saying that a "civilized" person's religious beliefs are more important than a less "civilized" one? Are you aware that the religious figures of every major US religion came from even less "civilized" countries and times than modern day Mexico?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
That still does not answer... (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by ragabr on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:55:44 PM EST

whose morality? Definitely not mine, and billions of people the world over who alter their chemistry in a myriad of ways.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
The individual... (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by ragabr on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:53:31 PM EST

has no duty other than to do no wrong. The use of drugs has no direct affect on the whole of society, thus it is a victimless crime. If a single user happens to be irresponsible, that doesn't make it right to lash out at the whole group. As for the affect on the economy, I bet that releasing all those slaves hurt the economy of the South too. I'm sure that there's plenty the government could set up to make us more effecient overall, mandatory 80 hours a week, etc.

Those just aren't good argumenets. You also haven't shown how the altering my own chemistry isn't a Right.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
the rights fallacy (3.00 / 1) (#114)
by yummo on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:39:01 PM EST

Rights don't exist. They are priveledges awarded by those in power to themselves and others as they see fit. Why, you ask, would anyone acting out of self-interest give anyone else an advantage? Because the game of life is not played merely on the chessboard of money, or power, but also of virtue. Virtue hoarders like Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and myself display our cloaks pinned with dozens of virtuous acts as though a boy scout attaining some ill-named rank.

Whether some virtuous, drug-dealing Columbian FARC rebel is willing to bolster his self-image through giving you the priveledge of using a drug, that is not my say. They, after all, have the guns.

Whatever.

[ Parent ]

Not productive (4.33 / 3) (#128)
by sydb on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 05:50:28 PM EST

Your reductionist "rights don't exist" stance adds absolutely nothing to the argument. You might as well say "nothing is important". Both statements are irrefutable because "rights" and "importance" mean nothing when we view the universe as a collection of objects behaving deterministically.

The point is that as sentient beings we can create new abstract constructs like importance and rights whose existence is completely dependent on us thinking and talking about them. It's up to us as a group of intelligent beings, i.e. a society, to come to a consensus on what the group as a whole considers to be important, and what the group as a whole considers to be a right. The two are, of course, linked.

As a society, the West has agreed that individual freedom is important. Thus we codify that principle into human rights, however stated.

The useful debate is about where the freedom of the individual infringes upon the freedom of the rest of society. This debate results in the identification of rights, through an agreement about important freedoms.

In my opinion, cognitive liberty, or the right to change my consciousness and be free of third-party control of my consciousness is a fundamental right. I must be free from others fiddling with my mind; I must be free to fiddle with my own mind.

Acknowledging that rights such as cognitive liberty exist raises society above dust. Your attitude of "rights don't exist" keeps us in the dust.
--

Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did - Linus Torvalds
[ Parent ]

Good Point (4.00 / 3) (#113)
by FuriousXGeorge on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:37:22 PM EST

"  To take a rather trite example, what do you think the productivity cost to the economy is due to illegal drugs? "

Right, it's staggering.  Why?  Because drug users often get fired over dirty urine tests despite acceptable job performance.  Make it legal, and stop the UT's, and we don't have this problem.

Glad your coming over to our side Demiurge.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Don't bite (5.00 / 2) (#64)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:11:47 AM EST

Demiurge, neatly summing up many of the most flawed arguments of the prohibitionists, should do his reading. This has all been argued before, by better prohibitionists than him and better libertarians than me. Don't bother responding - I for one am tired of parroting back the same arguments to people like him. "The drug war is more harmful than drugs," "Who gave you the right to regulate my private life," etc. Demiurge, do your homework. Fellow respondents, don't bother engaging him - there'll just be another hundred people like him posting the same misinformed crap.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Rights (3.75 / 4) (#53)
by jig on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:17:22 AM EST

Also of interest is the implied proposition that people have a "right" to use this or any other drug. But that no doubt goes along with the widespread trend of inventing "rights" for any and all vices or peculiar habits that are felt to be in need of justification.
I decree that you can no longer live. Since the word 'live' spelt backwards is 'evil', it is quite plain that it is evil for you practice this peculiar habit of yours that you call living. Therefore, you will be executed at exactly noon in a week's time. And no, you do not have a 'right' to life. This will be done purely for your own good. Goodbye.

-----
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all

[ Parent ]
Here we go again ... (4.50 / 4) (#59)
by pyramid termite on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:32:40 AM EST

Users of the drug who wax rhapsodic about their hallucinatory experiences get voted up, people who express negative opinions get voted down. This doesn't really surprise me, but it still annoys me; I wonder why the usual cry of "censorship!" hasn't been swiftly raised?

Could it be because it isn't censorship; but people merely voting their opinion on a comment? I suppose next you'll be saying that people censored the candidate you wanted elected by voting for someone else.

Conferring upon a thing or activity the status of being a "right" is the modern equivalent of issuing a papal bull: the newly-created right is neatly placed out of the reach of criticism, since the violation of a right is inherently suggested in its questioning, a sin which the true believer is loathe to commit.

Which neatly overlooks that a papal bull benefits the Pope and the Church only, while a right benefits everyone - anyone may choose or choose not to take something. No one will be raiding your house accusing you of failing to take Silvia will they?

Like Gibichung, you insist that your beliefs should take precedence over other people's beliefs and if people don't conform to your beliefs, then they should be forced to. Neither of you have yet to explain how it is that you came to be so priveleged. Neither of you will come up with a good explaination for it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
rights (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:53:39 AM EST

Could it be because it isn't censorship; but people merely voting their opinion on a comment? I suppose next you'll be saying that people censored the candidate you wanted elected by voting for someone else.
My reference to censorship was sarcastic, hence the scare quotes. I'm well aware that people vote according to their opinion or bias, and in fact, this is precisely what I was pointing out.
Which neatly overlooks that a papal bull benefits the Pope and the Church only, while a right benefits everyone - anyone may choose or choose not to take something.
Aside from very basic considerations (life, liberty, etc), rights rarely benefit everyone. I would be inclined to think that making drug usage a legal right benefits only the users of drugs, and the desire to do so does not stem from some enlightened concern for the well-being of "everyone." That using drugs is beneficial at all is certainly debatable; any perceived benefits must be weighed against a host of medical dangers and social effects, and the jargonistic vagueness of these so-called benefits ("reality modification," "quantum mysticism," etc) renders them sketchy at best in my mind, chemically unaltered as it is.
Like Gibichung, you insist that your beliefs should take precedence over other people's beliefs and if people don't conform to your beliefs, then they should be forced to. Neither of you have yet to explain how it is that you came to be so priveleged. Neither of you will come up with a good explaination for it.
I've yet to even state my "beliefs" on this issue, much less insist on their precedence. All I did was question the author's assertion that taking drugs is (or should be) a right. I provided an explanation for this challenge: namely that creating rights for ideas and actions seemingly at random is a cheap method of applying to them the halo of morality (rights are for the good of everyone, after all), thus rendering them impregnable from attack. In our mostly democratic and egalitarian Western societies, merely questioning a right is condemned as an attack on the individual, and this is exactly what you have done by accusing me of forcing people to conform to my (as yet unstated) beliefs. I should think that if a person has a "right" to take drugs, I certainly have a "right" to disagree publically with their public justifications.

Irregardless of the considerable suffering I undoubtedly cause in the anguished souls of the individuals I repress, I must say that I have serious reservations about the current trend of declaring every one-time vice imaginable to be a "right," and hence entitled to protection under the law. This is far more concerning to me than the issue of whether or not people use drugs.

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

right (4.50 / 2) (#86)
by kubalaa on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:18:27 PM EST

I think you're totally unclear on the concept, but I'd like to hear you defend your version before passing judgement -- how do you define "rights"?

Personally, I think "rights" are good things and therefore should be as broad as possible. This boils down to, you have the right to do anything except infringe on the rights of others.

So, for example, I have the right to do salvia but you don't have the right to stop me. Or, I have the right to decent housing, but I don't have the right to force someone else to give it to me.

[ Parent ]

what are rights? (none / 0) (#125)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:22:57 PM EST

In the context of this discussion, I agree with Ayn Rand's definition:
"Rights are moral principles sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context."
I, too, believe that rights are good, which is why I'm given cause for reflection when I see them claimed on behalf of drugs, computer generated kiddie porn, vicious so-called artists such as Eminem, and a host of other things that are of dubious worth.

What interests me in all of this are the beliefs and ideas that motivate people to rationalize vices into virtues and rights. Everything that humans say and do can be followed back to the ideas they believe in. Rights themselves are only an idea, having no tangible existence in and of themselves.

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

Rights are only available for things I like (none / 0) (#145)
by Mantikor on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:25:19 AM EST

You don't like drugs, you don't like CG child porn, you don't like Eminem...

So naturally, they are 'of dubious worth', and the concept of rights should not be applied to them?

The fact that millions of people listen to, laugh at, and otherwise enjoy Eminem's music is merely an irrelevant sidenote - cthulhain has declared DUBIOUS WORTH, and yea, so shall it be. Congress, kindly wipe the rights of Eminem and his fans from the record, thank you.
So, basically, you'd like the rest of the planet forcibly molded to look like your living room?

I have trouble understanding why "others' rights to enjoy things that cthulhain doesn't care for" don't exist.

[ Parent ]
rationalize vices (none / 0) (#153)
by kubalaa on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 07:35:45 AM EST

The problem, as others have more directly pointed out, is that "vice" and "virtue" do not have absolute, objective definitions in their standard usage. So if we want an absolute, objective definition of rights, it cannot be based on virtue. (And we need an absolute definition of rights because it is a social construct -- one can sin alone, but one alone cannot excercise, or be deprived of, a right.)

[ Parent ]
Rights vs vices - who decides? (5.00 / 3) (#89)
by pyramid termite on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:37:36 PM EST

Aside from very basic considerations (life, liberty, etc), rights rarely benefit everyone.

That's a lot like arguing that only a few people will choose to become Jehovah's Witnesses, so only a few people's rights will be violated if we ban the religion. Clearly, seeing as everyone ingests something, a law prohibiting certain substances from being ingested affects everyone.

That using drugs is beneficial at all is certainly debatable;

It certainly is, but having a government outlaw a substance is not a means of debate, is it? As a person who's had experience with drugs, I have doubts as to their usefulness and have chosen not to do them anymore.

I've yet to even state my "beliefs" on this issue, much less insist on their precedence.

You were defending someone who had done precisely that.

All I did was question the author's assertion that taking drugs is (or should be) a right. I provided an explanation for this challenge: namely that creating rights for ideas and actions seemingly at random is a cheap method of applying to them the halo of morality (rights are for the good of everyone, after all), thus rendering them impregnable from attack.

It's hardly at random. If you attack the proposition that people should have the right to take drugs because it's bad for them, then some could argue that we should ban tobacco, alcohol and fatty foods because they are bad for people. When arguing that a person does not have the right to do something, you are arguing that either they are infringing upon someone else's life or property in an unacceptable manner, or that they don't know what's best for them and it's someone else's job to tell them and enforce it, against their will if they have to.

Your argument that proclaiming something a right makes it impregnable from attack is laughable in our current times when the US government is doing things that curtail the rights that are set in the Constitution.

In our mostly democratic and egalitarian Western societies, merely questioning a right is condemned as an attack on the individual, and this is exactly what you have done by accusing me of forcing people to conform to my (as yet unstated) beliefs.

So what? Clearly rights are things posessed by individuals, and clearly an attempt to take a right away from an individual would have to be done with some kind of force upon that individual, which would make it an attack, wouldn't it? And clearly, if you doubt an individual has such a right, then you are saying that a person's own opinion on such a matter is worth less than another, more authoritative person's view. So far, you've yet to come up with a justification for this; by your own statement, you haven't even expressed a belief. If you're going to argue that something isn't a right, you're going to have to do better than that.

I should think that if a person has a "right" to take drugs, I certainly have a "right" to disagree publically with their public justifications.

Disingenious. No one has suggested that you didn't.

I must say that I have serious reservations about the current trend of declaring every one-time vice imaginable to be a "right,"

And who gets to define what a "vice" is? You?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
people decide (2.00 / 1) (#115)
by cthulhain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:39:29 PM EST

And who gets to define what a "vice" is? You?
The moral beliefs that people draw on when they declare some things bad and others good evolve in a society in accordance with its perceived needs. In the past, drugs have been considered to be a vice by the large majority of people in the U.S. at least, and they are still considered as such to this day. That there might be good reasons that people take such a low view of drugs has either not occured to you or is simply not relevant to you, since you seem to feel that other people have no "right" to challenge your convictions. In spite of all your fuming, I'm sure you're well aware of all this. Also, please note my usage of "one-time vice". In other words, it is no longer a vice.

Only a minority of people think of drugs as a "right", and since they are outnumbered they must resort to claiming the moral high ground, or at least appearing to. Of course, their opponents have already claimed the moral high ground for themselves, and so a bitter struggle for final occupation ensues. The outcome? Self-righteous bickering, and nothing more. The goal is not to reach a solution, but to validate one's closely held dogmas by defeating the enemy.

Having said that, it's obvious to me that your only intention here is to nitpick. No matter what I say, you will dance around it and claim that I have no valid basis to "impose" my "beliefs" on others. You will call on the example of the noble Mexican tribes to show that since morality differs according to time and place, morals themselves are inconstant and therefore invalid, and consequently no one must pass judgement on people or situations, unless for the purpose of passing laws or setting up rights that advance the sacred cause of unlimited individual freedom.

Nevertheless, human civilization cannot proceed without being propelled by a system of morals. These morals may change and fluctuate over the course of time, but they are still important and necessary in human affairs and they are at the basis of all our actions, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it. To deny the possibility of any firm moral foundation is simplistic, and the person who does so is every bit as hardheaded and inflexible as the moral absolutist.

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

bullshit (3.50 / 2) (#118)
by strlen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:54:08 PM EST

people don't decide what's wrong or wrong. rights or wrong exist independent of democracy and of emotions. what's wrong is jailing individuals who've not hurt anyone, what's right is anything that doesn't directly hurt you. that's the way it is, and any other way is the result of being brainwashed by some group who simply wants power.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
More "nitpicking" (none / 0) (#144)
by pyramid termite on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:21:03 AM EST

That there might be good reasons that people take such a low view of drugs has either not occured to you or is simply not relevant to you, since you seem to feel that other people have no "right" to challenge your convictions.

Come on, you're deliberately mischaracterizing what I said. You can challenge my convictions all you like; it's when people think the government should step in to forcibly change or negate those convictions that my problem begins.

Only a minority of people think of drugs as a "right", and since they are outnumbered they must resort to claiming the moral high ground, or at least appearing to. Of course, their opponents have already claimed the moral high ground for themselves, and so a bitter struggle for final occupation ensues. The outcome? Self-righteous bickering, and nothing more. The goal is not to reach a solution, but to validate one's closely held dogmas by defeating the enemy.

And your alternative? And if this is what's actually going on in our little argument then you're every bit as guilty as I am, aren't you? Except that I've no intention of calling upon the government to shut you up.

Having said that, it's obvious to me that your only intention here is to nitpick.

And it's clear to me that you're having genuine trouble answering my arguments.

No matter what I say, you will dance around it and claim that I have no valid basis to "impose" my "beliefs" on others.

I'll even go further than that - *I* have no right to impose my beliefs on others, either.

You will call on the example of the noble Mexican tribes to show that since morality differs according to time and place, morals themselves are inconstant and therefore invalid, and consequently no one must pass judgement on people or situations, unless for the purpose of passing laws or setting up rights that advance the sacred cause of unlimited individual freedom.

Nice try, but you're not going to make me out to be a moral relativist. As a person who seems to have some fondness for Ayn Rand, I would think you would regard such things as religious beliefs or morals based upon them to be delusions at worst, and unknowable propositions at best. I cannot rationally prove that Salvia helps one percieve the kind of spiritual world that the shamans who use it claim to be able to see, but neither can I prove the miracle of transubstantiation performed in the Catholic Mass. Any argument that can be made for one or the other are based on faith, and I should think that anyone who is going to proclaim that they believe certain things on faith should be very cautious of outlawing what other people believe on faith, if such faith does not involve harming other people. (Disclaimer - I'm not claiming you have done so, I'm using it as an example.) In short, there is quite a lot of moral territory that can not be settled upon and a certain degree of respect, not necessarily agreement should be shown in these cases. Other cases, such as whether people should be allowed to kill each other, can be decided fairly easily.

To deny the possibility of any firm moral foundation is simplistic, and the person who does so is every bit as hardheaded and inflexible as the moral absolutist.

Then please tell that to someone who's actually claimed no moral foundation is possible. Alfalfa's going up; you can't afford to keep building straw men when the cows might go hungry.

I think I'm through, this is getting tiresome.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Benefits of drug legalization (4.33 / 3) (#121)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:09:09 PM EST

You can find more, better arguments than mine elsewhere but I wanted to briefly point out a few benefits of drug legalization.

Legalizing drugs will stimulate the economy. Taxes from drug sales will provide the government with massive amounts of stable income similar to cigarette and alcohol taxes. Legalization will eliminate the black market thus eliminating much drug-related crime. This includes street crimes (gang violence, etc) as well as money laundering and other organized crime efforts. Remember, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations are funded largely in part by illegal drug trafficking, distribution, and sales. Ending the drug war, and the drug black market, will significantly hinder the Taliban's income.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
You forgot to mention... (none / 0) (#141)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:23:48 PM EST

... that it would provide a source of income for farmers in this country, thus relieving some of their need for subsidies from the government.

Well, I guess that falls under "stimulate the economy", but it is a good point to clarify nonetheless.



[ Parent ]

Hemp the wondercrop (none / 0) (#146)
by xee on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:37:26 AM EST

If farmers start growing it here it'll be the largest cash crop ever! It's HEMP the WonderCrop.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
I once saw a Frontline... (none / 0) (#156)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 09:17:36 AM EST

... on this area of Tenn. (I think) where the local farmers got pissed when their good ol'boy sheriff was replaced by someone who cooperated with state and federal drug war officers. It seems that one of the best ways for them to survive was to grow MJ, and the old sheriff was more than sympathetic with their situation.

At least, I think it was a Frontline.



[ Parent ]

I *think* this was a sarcastic comment but... (none / 0) (#175)
by Falling uP on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 08:50:49 PM EST

It already is the fourth largest cash crop in the United States.

[ Parent ]
The difference (none / 0) (#170)
by felixrayman on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 01:00:14 AM EST

Users of the drug who wax rhapsodic about their hallucinatory experiences get voted up, people who express negative opinions get voted down

If you really dont understand the difference, please point out to me one post in this thread that asserts that you should be forced to do drugs.

That anyone would have so much reverence for a plant is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Spoken as a true non oxygen breather.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Reality vs Perception (4.15 / 13) (#43)
by bugmaster on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:10:48 AM EST

I am not sure I understand these drug-promoting articles that have been popping up on k5 lately. Do people really believe that all of reality is a "consensual hallucination", and that drugs allow you to pierce this hallucination and see "the truth" (whatever that may be) ? Are there really that many solipsists around here ?

That being said, I am a firm believer in personal liberties. People should be allowed to take whatever drugs they like, as long as they are not hurting anyone but themselves. As far as I see it, the hallucinatory/reality-enhancing/enlightenment-inducing properties of the drug are really irrelevant.
>|<*:=

irrelevant (4.50 / 2) (#58)
by FredBloggs on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:08:13 AM EST

"As far as I see it, the hallucinatory/reality-enhancing/enlightenment-inducing properties of the drug are really irrelevant."

Really. Have you ever taken a hallucinogen?  When you say `drug promoting` do you mean actually promoting, or just not saying `this is evil - you`ll take it and kill your children`?

For those genuinely interested in the advantages of taking this type of drug, you`ll find online texts for `LSD my problem child` by Albert Hofmann at:

http://www.psychedelic-library.org/child.htm

and "PIKHAL a chemical love story" by Alexander & Ann Shulgin at:

www.erowid.org/library/books_online/ pihkal/pihkal.shtml

A book which isnt online, but is very interesting, is `the eye of the cyclone` by John C Lilly. Its about a guy (a proper scientist and everything) experimenting with LSD and flotation tanks..i`m sure some of you will remember a film about this? Altered states? Well, its based on this guys experiences, although of course Hollywood has rendered the story inaccurate. Suprised?

http://peyote.com/jonstef/johnlilly.htm

Cary Grant wanted to make a film about LSD, as it changed his life for the better. Surprisingly, it was never made.

You`ll also see the disadvantages, though you`ll be unlikely to read about people going insane or killing their children - for that you`ll have to stick to government approved outlets, such as the mainstream media.


[ Parent ]

Re: irrelevant (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by bugmaster on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:01:10 PM EST

Really. Have you ever taken a hallucinogen? When you say `drug promoting` do you mean actually promoting, or just not saying `this is evil - you`ll take it and kill your children`?
Eh ? I never said that drugs were evil and will cause you to kill people (though, of course, one should never drive while drunk or stoned). I was trying to say that most of the drug-related articles on k5 seem to follow this pattern:
  1. The government is trying to ban the drug foo, asserting that it is harmful
  2. But foo is not harmful at all, in fact it's very beneficial, because of reasons baz and bar
  3. Therefore, the government is wrong. Fight the power !
I argue that point 2 above is irrelevant. I should be able to take the drug foo regardless of whether it's good for me or not. In extreme cases, I should be able to even take cyanide, if I so choose. As long as I am only affecting myself with this drug, the government has no business telling me to stop; and it certainly has no right to waste my hard-earned taxes on eradicating Salvia Divinorum or whatever.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Sorry, (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by FredBloggs on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 10:30:54 AM EST

You called it `drug promoting` which it wasnt, IMO.
But really I was disagreeing with your:

---
Do people really believe that all of reality is a "consensual hallucination", and that drugs allow you to pierce this hallucination and see "the truth
---

bit.  I suggested you hadnt taken any hallucinogens because I believe that if you had, you wouldnt have made such a claim. I`m not saying you take one dose of any such drug and you get all the answers or anything. Seriously, I`m not saying you should take them (because that would be illegal), but i would urge you to at least browse the literature and see why they are being used in some of the less irrational parts of the world for counselling, psychotherapy, dealing with addiction to legal drugs etc.

[ Parent ]

everything i need to (not) know I learned on acid (4.75 / 8) (#71)
by Shpongle Spore on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:59:07 AM EST

Do people really believe that all of reality is a "consensual hallucination", and that drugs allow you to pierce this hallucination and see "the truth" (whatever that may be) ?

Doing drugs hasn't made me believe anything (except that the war on drugs is one of the most horrible scams ever perpetrated), but it's made me quit believing a lot of things, which I consider a Very Good Thing. Is reality a consensual hallucination, a completely deterministic mechanical place like Newtonian physics suggests, or a big playground created for my amusement by a benevolent higher power, etc.?

I used to have very definite ideas on questions like this and thought that people who disagreed with me were hopelessly deluded because my views were so "obviously" right. That sort of view doesn't hold up well when you take drugs and see for yourself that other views can be equally obvious. A trip or two may lead you to believe that you've discovered the true nature of reality or some similar bullshit, but repeated experiences with different outcomes demonstrate quite clearly that because some answer is "obvious" doesn't make it any more "true" than any other answer.

In short, while on one level I might claim that drugs have shown me "the truth" (as you say), it would me more honest for me to say that drugs have shown me that if there is an ultimate truth, I don't know what it is, and I'd be a fool to go around thinking I do. Of course you probably won't here this from many current drug users, because once you figure out that part, drugs get a whole lot less interesting. The fact that people on drugs come up with some godawful stupid shit doesn't mean they're idiots, just that they're in the middle of a learning process, only they don't realize they're not done learning yet.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

Ditto... (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:14:41 PM EST

..., just want to point out that I don't think drugs loose all appeal when one has learned that lesson. They can still be fun and useful for enhancing particular situations.

Another thing that drugs can teach is contextualize. Good things can be good in some contexts and bad in others. That is an easy idea to say, but some people can benefit greatly from the visceral lesson that safe drug use can give on this issue.



[ Parent ]

Whoah, expand my reality, and call me paco. (4.00 / 12) (#55)
by nathan1029 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 08:26:54 AM EST

I'm not gonna lie here; I like drugs.

I'm not gonna lie(again); I don't take drugs to escape reality.

No more lies, damn it; I'm not expanding my fundamental grasp on my menial existence.

I've done saliva, I've done a lot.

It's fun to get fucked up; but please, please, please, please stop giving drug users a bad name; you sound like a deranged hippy.

I don't want people who don't do drugs thinking most drug users are whacked out weirdos looking for another form existence.

Perhaps, it all comes down to: changing the chemical balance in your brain for an experience you couldn't get otherwise.

The end.

Trolldar has a bogey (none / 0) (#116)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:43:18 PM EST

"It's fun to get fucked up; but please, please, please, please stop giving drug users a bad name; you sound like a deranged hippy."

I'd rather be labeled a "deranged hippy" than someone who just does drugs to "get fucked up". Saying that it's fun to get fucked up shows your ignorance and irresponsibility. At least the deranged hippy is seeking enlightenment rather than seeking being fucked up. Whether or not he/she'll find enlightenment is another story alltogether.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#119)
by mindstrm on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:54:14 PM EST

Because I found the previous comment completely honest and straightforward.
One person does salvia because he wants spiritual enlightenment, because it gives him a different perspective in which to experience things and/or think about things.

The other guy does salvia becuase he 'likes to get fucked up'.

Both are the same thing; the first guy is just elaborating more pretending he has some noble purpose.

[ Parent ]

Getting fucked up with salvia (none / 0) (#126)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:25:00 PM EST

Salvia is not a good drug to "get fucked up" with.

Are you implying that anyone seeking enlightenment via drugs is just "pretending he has some noble purpose?" That's a bit prejudiced. My search for enlightenment is more sincere and profound than most people's belief in god. I am not pretending, but I may be misguided.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not. (none / 0) (#184)
by mindstrm on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 11:31:41 PM EST

I'm just drawing a parallel. You do drugs because you feel it helps you on a search for meaning, purpose, whatever you want to call it. You make a conscious choice to do it because it helps you achieve some state of mind you want to get to. Others do it because "they like being high". Well, YOU like being high too, you are just more elaborate as to why.

[ Parent ]
Balance (3.62 / 8) (#57)
by davidmb on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:01:19 AM EST

The almost religious tone of this article turned me off a bit. I'd have liked to see a bit more on the possible downsides of Salvia. After all, what is more useful in deciding whether to take plunge: someone saying "this is great, take it!" or a list of potential risks?

Still, I find these articles amusing. Just bear in mind that it's not reality that's changing, it's your perception of reality. The misleading title had me temporarily excited there.
־‮־

Perception is reality. (none / 0) (#65)
by Wulfius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:12:46 AM EST

When I was working for EDS (still in therapy) my boss kept saying;

"Perception is reality"

Now, I wonder what drugs he was on?

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Downsides (none / 0) (#171)
by bobjim on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 04:38:29 AM EST

There are few downsides to SD. Here's all I can come up with:

1) Smoking anything is never going to be good for your lungs. If you have any kind of respiratory complaint, smoking Salvia Divinorum will be just as bad for you as smoking anything else. However, smoke inhalation can be minimized by using fortified products or using another administration route, such as tinctures or vaporisation. In general, the health risk from the inhalation of that amount of smoke is very, very low.

2) If you use a tincture, then, depending on the alcohol content, it can chemically burn your mouth. This hurts and may possibly, if done on a regular basis, be a risk for mouth cancer. Alcohol itself is not carcinogenic, but it can amplify the effects of other carcinogens. In general, the risk for occasional use of this sort is very, very low.

3) In the unlikely event you have access to pure salvinorin A to vaporise, it's very important to have very accurate balances to measure out the amount. Salvinorin A is active in levels around the few hundred microgram level. Whilst there are no records of anyone ever coming to harm through Salvinorin A inhalation, it's not been studied and may have detrimental effects not present in less pure routes.

4) Whilst the Mazatecas have used Salvia Divinorum for centuries, perhaps more, and use does not seem to have any significant detrimental effect, it's important to remember that no-one has any clue how Salvia Divinorum is metabolised, changes brain chemistry or, in general, very much about what it actually does. What is known is that it does not affect any of the known receptors. So, it's possible that usage of Salvia Divinorum may have long term effects that aren't known. It doesn't seem very likely and it's worth remembering that many drugs available over the counter may have long term effects that aren't known, or that are known, but ignored. For me, this isn't a significant risk, but everyone makes their choice.

5) On high level Salvia trips, you can lose connection with your body. It's not unknown for someone tripping on Salvia to get up and walk around. Obviously, this can be made into more or less of a hazard. The best solution is to always have another person with you, who will make sure you don't do anything harmful whilst under the influence. If this is not possible, then obvious precautions like not having any candles around, locking doors and such will reduce, but not eliminate the risk. I know of people who have burnt themselves with hot lighters at the start of a Salvia trip, but haven't heard of anything worse. This is probably the most worrying of the various risks one takes when using Salvia, but is also the most dependant on you -- it is your responsibility to take care of yourself; you can make the trip safe.

6) It's possible, though I've never heard of it and I'm pretty sure there's no recorded instances of it ever, that Salvia (or any hallucinogen) may lead to Hallucinogenic Persistant Perceptory Disorder (HPPD), which is a condition more associated with LSD and friends. HPPD involves persistant hallucinations (patterns rippling, geometric patterns appearing on blank surfaces, etc) occuring in vary intensity for years after drug use. This is a very rare condition, but is untreatable. Despite the sheer unlikelihood that a drug that definitely does not work in the way that any other drug does could result in this, it is nevertheless a possibility which should be considered.

7) You might not like it.

8) You might not be affected by it at all.

9) You may find things out about yourself and your place in the universe that do not allow yourself to continue living in the way that you currently do. This kind of experience seems rare, but it's possible.

In general, Salvia Divinorum, used responsibly, seems to me to be one of the safest drugs to use. However, every activity has a certain level of risk; your body, brain and mind are precious. Everybody has different reactions to substances. Know the substance, know yourself.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

I don't take drugs (2.53 / 13) (#62)
by rabbits77 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:57:23 AM EST

no matter how much drooling dopers on k5 propagandize them. Seriously, why would I risk destroying my brain? As I see it, it is the only thing I have going for me. Also, k5 seriously risks losing its reputation if it does not curtial being a forum for pro-drug idiots who have fucked themselves up to the point where they think doing drugs is something special.

Admirable restraint. (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by Wulfius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:11:10 AM EST

No mind altering substances at all?

No Coffeine? No Nicotine? No Alcohol?
Wow...

Not even sedatives when the good doctor prescribes?

What about endorphins and seratonin? Naturally occuring drugs in your brain. You dont have fun?

You are a shining example of virtue to us all sinners.


---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

straightedge (1.28 / 7) (#68)
by rabbits77 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:22:16 AM EST

This means I am better than you. Here is a clue: http://www.landfield.com/faqs/cultures/straight-edge-faq/preamble.html You just keep doing what k5 and society at large tells you and maybe you will get a cookie.

[ Parent ]
Whoa there cowboy! (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by lb008d on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:48:04 AM EST

This means I am better than you

Lose that attitude and people might take your cult seriously. Otherwise you sound like a bunch of little holier-than-thou stormtroopers.

[ Parent ]

Here's something to bear in mind (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by synaesthesia on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:23:57 AM EST

From the Straight edge FAQ at the site you mentioned:

Well... [Ian] might be credited with starting it, but he's made it abundantly clear he doesn't care for what's it turned into. Read old Minor Threat interviews, i bet most Earth Crisis fans would be shocked to hear him say 'it doesn't mean never drink a beer...'
Ian: i think worrying about some stranger's lifestyle in regards to your own is a little silly.
alot of people think that to be straight edge you can't drink, smoke, or have sex and that's silly...



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
better people (5.00 / 3) (#81)
by kubalaa on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:02:04 PM EST

I've noticed one thing -- anyone who feels compelled to inform the world that they're above it... isn't.

[ Parent ]
I remember the days (5.00 / 3) (#97)
by Evil_Skippy on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:39:36 PM EST

when being straight-edge didn't mean that you were a self-righteous prick.  Alas, times have changed.

[ Parent ]
Yes, you are. (3.00 / 4) (#99)
by blixco on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:46:27 PM EST

Now don't you feel special?

Seriously, you are *so much* better than I am, I can hardly take it. In fact, I will have to do something drastic to bring my shattered sense of self back together from the heaps of fragments you've reduced it to. I may have to *gasp* kill myself.

Thanks, though, for the insight. How come it is that every punk show I've been to, some straightedge kid is the one that picks a fight with me? Ya wanna know why? It's that superior thinking, that's what it is. Over here, in Reality, we call it being an asshole.

You special, special person.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

re (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by chia on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:07:57 AM EST

Yes, the world would be a far better place if nobody took any risks, hey think about it we would all be sitting in a cave too scared to go outside if we were all like you! If you dont ever want to know what it feels like to be high, well thats a shame.


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
[ Parent ]
I agree (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by xuare on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:56:05 AM EST

though I would have stated it a bit differently.  The number of drug related posts has been signifigantly high lately, and I found myself thinking the thoughts you mentioned.

The risk to "destroy your brain" is one's own decision, and I don't think that's the heart of your problem anyway.  I also believe that if one should want to commit suicide or do stupidly risky activities, they shouldn't be stopped ...

I think the more subversive topic is whether all the stories regarding a drug induced lifestyle on k5.  Posting about such a lifestyle is subjecting all of us to reading about it in some fashion. However, it would be better to use your story moderation points than to gripe about it to clear it from the site.

If people continue to mod up things like this then you should probably find another site or start your own (personally, that's what i'll do if the drug postings continue to get high % of front page submissions).  That's why scoop is free :)

-

echo -e "begin 664 /dev/stdout\n3>'5A<F5\`=&EM96MI;&PN;W)G\"@\`\`\n\`\nend" | uudecode
[ Parent ]

Chew on this (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by deadkarma on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:36:50 PM EST

Many people believe that our minds have evolved to this point because of our long lost ancestors stumbling across certain plants that when ingested into the body, allowed for certain realizations to come forth.

When you say doing drugs, I'm assuming you mean illegal drugs, which is a classification based on which governent you are using. This makes it difficult for me to understand which 'drugs' you are referring to.

As for the brain frying, yes many chemicals destroy your body, and I think the many many people destory their bodies on a daily basis, and for reasons beyond my understanding it is seen as the normal thing to do. Not all illegal substances fry your brain, some help it. (as a side note, the number of deaths from Marijuana in recorded history: 0). I personally know two doctors who responsibly smoke marijuana regularly. Also there are these people.

Maybe k5 should curtail being a forum for mental luddites like yourself who think that not taking drugs is something special.

[ Parent ]

fucking up your brain (3.00 / 2) (#93)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:08:11 PM EST

I assume you don't drink, because alcohol can fuck up your brain as most illegal drugs.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
for sheezy (none / 0) (#106)
by panck on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:04:16 PM EST

well, I have taken drugs, and I absolutely agree with you.  Don't risk fucking up your brain.  I'm sure I haven't done enough to do so, but I'll never know.  That's what haunts you ever after.  Am I as smart as I once was?  Maybe it was just the fact that after 18 the brain stops growing, and that smart kids seem to have more quick insight into things when they're young than after they grow up, or maybe it was some of the drugs i tried.  

I am glad for some of the self-realization that has occurred from taking drugs.  Like: I'm never doing that again.  If you've never done something you're going to be forever haunted with the question, what is it like?  What am I missing out on?  I'll say this: it's not worth it.  They were fun, but the after-effects and fear that they were affecting my brain permanently was not enjoyable. I have  several friends who are serious drug fiends, in the sense that they do all sorts of drugs a lot.  A lot being, hard drugs several times a week.  It hasn't done them any good, for sure, and I believe it has reduced their intelligence.

While salvia sounds like an interesting drug, notable because it's not yet illegal (and I'm all for the legalization of drugs, specifically because it would eliminate the black-market, meaning that prices would come down, violent crimes would cease, and drug users would no longer be funding terrorism), listening to this ranter rave about is like listening to some backwoods televangelist.

As far as K5 sounding like a druggie soapbox, well, write your own article about how drugs have negatively affected someone.  That's what K5's about.  Hippies and narcs cavorting together.

[ Parent ]

from the horse's mouth (PKD book plug) (none / 0) (#109)
by panck on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:13:15 PM EST

BTW, an excellent novel about drugs/druggies and the negative effects of drugs (written by someone who has done his fair share) is A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, ISBN 0679736654.

[ Parent ]
Don't risk your brain! (4.00 / 2) (#108)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:10:29 PM EST

Who said anything about risking your brain? I've taken several different drugs on several different occasions (including Salvia Divinorum) and i've never risked my brain. I would not want to hurt myself. I research and plan my drug-taking experiences. I don't do harmful or addictive drugs. I don't risk my brain.

One of the WoD's most successful tactics has been to make all drugs equivalent in the eyes of the ignorant. People who accept the WoD propaganda understand that all drugs are the same. Weed = Heroin, Ecstasy = Crack, LSD = Salvia. Every drug is different. Saying that "drugs can damage your brain" is as true as saying that "water can kill you" or that "everyone who eats tomatoes will DIE". Tylenol, when taken for a couple weeks consecutively, WILL KILL YOU (kidney failure). LSD, when taken equally as often, will not -- neither will aspirin or ibuprofen. (And for argument's sake, i'm talking about each drug's recommended dosage, respectively.) These are all drugs that directly affect your neurochemistry. There are drugs more dangerous (as in risking your brain) on supermarket shelves than weed, LSD, Ecstasy, or Salvia. Especially the all-natural, prune-and-smoke drugs like weed (marijuana) and salvia divinorum -- they're harmless.

As for K5 "losing it's reputation," what reputation are you talking about? How is K5's reputation as a forum for educated, open-minded, thought-provoking discussion in jeopardy? I've seen some excellent comments (and threads) in this story alone -- not to mention ALL THE OTHER STORIES available on K5. If you mean that K5's reputation for being an oppressive, close-minded, conservative board for anti-drug banter could be diluted or deluded then by all means, let the weed smokin' and acid trippin' begin. Maybe you should check out adequacy if you're seriously worried about this.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
what is a drug? (none / 0) (#135)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 06:34:58 PM EST

Do you eat plants? Do you eat mushrooms? Do you take aspirin, or similar pain relieviers? What about pepto bismall (sp?)? What about turkey? The waste product of yeast fermentation?

And don't even get me into other pharmaceuticals.

Do you live in Britain or Europe? Welcome to the risk of CSJ.


Besides, you might be genetically predisposed to alseheimers syndrome, and have your brain destroyed by amyloid plagues regardless of any "intention" (including avoidance).

Risk is inherent in life, live with it, and don't moralize other risk assesment strategies.

[ Parent ]
amplification (none / 0) (#137)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:01:15 PM EST

Commenting on my own post- how noble in deed!

Numerous plants, mushrooms, and animals have chemicals which have physciological effects. A smaller proportion have psychoactive qualities. Though not an exhaustive list, psyobocibe (sp), mushrooms, the south american vine _____ contains DMT, a toad's excretions contains buta, the peyote cactus includes mescaline, Khat from africa includes an addictive stimulant, alcohol, mariuana, and opiates are among the oldest substances known...
And turkey with a high degree of the amino acid tyrptophan (a precursor to serotonin) is often cited as a causal factor for the tired feeling after the traditional american thanksgiving (over indulgence is the other reason).

Pain is experienced at the perphieary and in the brain; if you have a significant operation (heart, joint, oral surgery...) I'll bet you'll be pressing that IV drip button or popping the opiate based pain pills-- irregardless of preceived risk of addiction or brain damage.

I could go on to environmental damage (lead, endocrine disrupters,...

The point is that chemicals surround us (chemicals are us?), and statistical risk assessment is not sexy, glamorous, or gratifying (either humanistically, or intellectually)- and it is in part what defines new diseases.

Two other points- diseases from wild animals (Lyme disease, Hanta virus, and CSJ / mad cow like symptoms) will cause severe organic brain damage. I think the point has been made.

Just remember the thinking should occur before the typing.

[ Parent ]
Oh dear (4.00 / 7) (#75)
by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:25:04 AM EST

    I find that salvia helps me understand complex subjects like quantum theory

Great! Where can I read your papers? I mean, you did take notes, right?

Look, I'm absolutely pro-choice, but it's your cloud, and your hallucination. Please don't kid yourself that anyone else gives a rat fart about your inner reality, and please, for your own sake, don't appropriate phrases that just demonstrate that you're a career tripper rather than a productive thinker using a drug to produce useful insights. It's not doing your cause any good.

Hallucinogens (or consciousness enhancers, if you like) have a fine tradition in art, but let's leave science to the guys and gals that can produce replicatable experiments.


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

Art vs. Science (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by synaesthesia on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:35:15 AM EST

let's leave science to the guys and gals that can produce replicatable experiments.

People who don't think that science requires imagination are doomed only to understand what has already been understood.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Aphorisms (none / 0) (#149)
by spiv on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 04:41:33 AM EST

People who don't think that science requires imagination are doomed only to understand what has already been understood.

People who spout aphorisms are wrong as often as everyone else.

Of course imagination and creativity are important tools for conceiving new ideas.  That doesn't negate the need to perform experiments to test scientific theories.  Neither does it make some guy on a high an instant expert on quantum physics just because he says so.

In the abscence of any supporting evidence, I strongly suspect that this guy has very little understanding of anything about quantum physics (few people do).  I could be wrong, of course, but your cute one-liner is hardly going to convince me.

[ Parent ]

Cute, yourself! (none / 0) (#152)
by synaesthesia on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 05:33:18 AM EST

People who spout aphorisms are wrong as often as everyone else.

Your point being? I'll still be right as often as everyone else without being more verbose than necessary.

I must have missed the part where dTaylorSingletary claimed to be "an instant expert on quantum physics". Or were those your words, that you put into his mouth?

My "cute little one-liner" claimed nothing more than it purported to. If you're going to criticise what I say, at least criticise what I've actually said.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
I'm cute? Why thank-you! ;) (none / 0) (#154)
by spiv on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 08:22:39 AM EST

Your point being? I'll still be right as often as everyone else...

Of course :)

I must have missed the part where dTaylorSingletary claimed to be "an instant expert on quantum physics". Or were those your words, that you put into his mouth?

You are of course right; I was exaggerating there.  My point is that anyone claiming to gain insights into something like quantum physics by being on drugs is almost certainly deluded.

My "cute little one-liner" claimed nothing more than it purported to. If you're going to criticise what I say, at least criticise what I've actually said.

In that case it said nothing.  I inferred from your post that you disagreed with the parent post, and were suggesting that you thought that dTaylorSingletary really did gain some insights into quantum physics.  If this is not the case, then what point are you trying to make?  Let me know what you are actually saying, so I can criticise it properly :)

[ Parent ]

Writing papers (none / 0) (#158)
by synaesthesia on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 10:03:49 AM EST

I disagreed with Rogerborg's parent post on two fronts:
  1. As soon as someone gains any understanding of any subject, the first thing they should do is write a paper for the scientific community.
  2. Science is all about performing replicable experiments. If you want to know which experiments you should be performing, look to the big black experiment dispenser in the sky.
You already understand my second objection. My first objection is to your and Rogerborg's complete misrepresentation of what dTaylorSingletary was trying to claim.

In the abscence of any supporting evidence, I strongly suspect that this guy has very little understanding of anything about quantum physics (few people do).

His claim was:

I find that salvia helps me understand complex subjects like quantum theory

Not:

When I'm high, my understanding transcends that of the world's most brilliant minds. Let me tell you, the elves in the chrysanthemum dome give me a good price for my insights

I found that reading "A Brief History of Time" helped me understand complex subjects like relativity and quantum theory. I don't think I'll be writing any breakthrough papers any time soon, though.

My point is that anyone claiming to gain insights into something like quantum physics by being on drugs is almost certainly deluded.

Is that any insights you're talking about, or just major insights?

In that case it said nothing.

You've set yourself up a straw man, and you accuse me of saying nothing?!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

I never claimed that he had to write papers (none / 0) (#172)
by spiv on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 10:03:55 AM EST

Firstly, I do recognise that we are talking about personal understanding here, not cutting-edge research.  Rogerborg's jibe about "where can I read your papers" was simply a way of pointing out that he thought dTaylorSingletary's claim about understanding quantum theory to be deluded [Rogerborg, if I'm misinterpreting you, please reply and tell me I'm wrong].  As far as I can see your point #1 is a straw man.  We're not talking about writing and publishing scientific papers, and I've never claimed to hold the opinion expressed in your point #1 (or point #2).

Rogerborg's post was sarcastic.  I doubt he holds the opinions you attribute to him in your two points of objection.

My first objection is to your and Rogerborg's complete misrepresentation of what dTaylorSingletary was trying to claim.

I don't believe I have completely misrepresented him.  I did employ exaggeration as a lazy way to emphasis my point, and I admit that was poorly done.  I still believe my point to be correct despite this.

When I'm high, my understanding transcends that of the world's most brilliant minds. Let me tell you, the elves in the chrysanthemum dome give me a good price for my insights

Now you're doing the misrepresentation.  I never meant to imply that, and I don't think I did.

Is that any insights you're talking about, or just major insights?

Any.  Quantum physics is complicated, non-intuitive, and just plain hard.  I don't find the claim that being on drugs like salvia helps dTaylorSingletary to understand it to be credible.

You've set yourself up a straw man, and you accuse me of saying nothing?!

Then tell me what you said more explicitly, because I seem to have missed it.

To recap: you said that "People who don't think that science requires imagination are doomed only to understand what has already been understood."  This aphorism was your entire reply to someone sarcastically expressing their skepticism that taking drugs helps understanding of quantum physics.

Yes, imagination is helpful in all endeavours of human thought.  That doesn't mean that it is all that is necessary for understanding something.  It's a necessary but not sufficient condition, to use a mathematical phrase.  The role of imagination in understanding wasn't being questioned.  Given this, I don't see what relevance your cute one-liner had to the discussion.  Thus I stand by my claim that your original reply said nothing, as is all too often the case with aphorisms.

Again, please explain to me what your point is?  I think dTaylorSingletary is deluding himself if thinks he has improved his understanding of quantum physics by using salvia.  You seem to disagree with this.  Why?

I admire your efforts to be concise (something I try to do and usually fail at -- this post is a good example), but for me at least, you were too terse.

[ Parent ]

Understanding vs. insight (none / 0) (#173)
by synaesthesia on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 11:15:37 AM EST

I've never claimed to hold the opinion expressed in your point #1 (or point #2).

That's why I said, "I disagreed with Rogerborg's parent post on two fronts". However, I too am guilty of exaggerating to make a point.

Notwithstanding, my original reply to Rogerborg's post was not in relation to dTaylorSingletary's understanding of quantum physics. It was simply a refutation of the claim that science and drugs are immiscible. Although my point #1 was in reply to sarcasm, if he doesn't hold viewpoint #2 (which was all that I originally picked up on), he doesn't express himself very well.

Point #1, and the rest of this thread, arises purely from the fact that Rogerborg and you both took dTaylorSingletary's position and substituted 'insight' (and by implication, 'original insight') for 'understanding'. That was the straw man to which I refer.

Anyway, it turns out that you really do mean that salvia cannot (in any individual) contribute to any insight whatsoever. Which I find to be an unfathomable (and ultimately unverifiable) position to take.

Quantum physics is complicated, non-intuitive, and just plain hard.

Non-intuitive for whom? You should speak for yourself, particularly if you are talking about altered states.

To recap: you said that "People who don't think that science requires imagination are doomed only to understand what has already been understood."  This aphorism was your entire reply to someone sarcastically expressing their skepticism that taking drugs helps understanding of quantum physics.

Rogerborg stated that consciousness enhancers have a fine tradition in art. Presumably, by implication, this has something to do with creativity or imagination (if you can offer me an alternative explanation, please do). By further implication, this sort of imagination has no place in science. It was not the scepticism about drugs, but about imagination, at which my aphorism was aimed.

The role of imagination in understanding wasn't being questioned.

I disagree. See above.

Again, please explain to me what your point is?  I think dTaylorSingletary is deluding himself if thinks he has improved his understanding of quantum physics by using salvia.  You seem to disagree with this.  Why?

Because he said he had. I have no reason to disagree with him, unless he is claiming something extraordinary such as original insight, in which case I would ask to see the papers he has written ;)

I find your position to be much weaker. For what reason do you doubt that salvia has had any positive effect on his comprehension of quantum physics? Do you know how much he understands about quantum physics? Do you know how much he used to understand, before taking salvia?

I must admit to only having tried salvia once and not really getting any discernable effects from it. For all I know, you have found salvia to have a detrimental effect on your own understanding of quantum physics, and are basing your position on this. However, you should still be cautious about the subjectivity of this position. I met someone once whose ability to juggle had been improved as a result of losing an arm!

If I've understood your position correctly, I'd like to ask you a further question: do you believe that no drug-induced experience is ever able to further any individual's understanding of anything?


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

The Art of Science (2.00 / 2) (#83)
by deadkarma on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:08:53 PM EST

I've had many many useful insights after ingesting certain chemicals, that have affected my life in a very positive way.

Sometimes I do take notes, but most of the time the realizations are so deep that I'm sure I will not forget them.

There is a very big difference between understanding certain things and the ability to communicate these understandings to others.

I'm sure you must agree that there is many things we do not know, or many things that we already know and cannot recall. As long as we keep on thinking and exploring both inner reality and outer, we can make progress and evolve.

Read up on morphic resonance.

[ Parent ]

morphic resonance (5.00 / 2) (#103)
by JyZude on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:55:14 PM EST

Search google for morphic resonance and you get an entry at the Skeptic's Dictionary that debases the whole thing, with links to studies that show the effect is in general purely statistical.

Which totally sucks because I wanted to believe it.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
Skeptics Dictionary (none / 0) (#123)
by deadkarma on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:19:28 PM EST

Thanks for that info, I thought the Hundred Monkey thing was very interesting.

You still can believe it. I think there is a bigger picture that we aren't able to fully grasp yet. Since I began reading about morphic resonance and being aware of it, I began to notice many many small strange coincidences where the morphic resonance theory would make sense.

Once example: My dog gets up and sits by the door almost everyday 5 to 10 minutes before I get home. (and yes, I have a very irregular schedule) Or, discovered that on at least two occasions my girlfriend and I were listening to the same mp3 at the same time while we were at work.

[ Parent ]

I'm curious (none / 0) (#150)
by spiv on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 04:47:35 AM EST

My dog gets up and sits by the door almost everyday 5 to 10 minutes before I get home.

I'm curious: how do you know this?

Is it perhaps likely that your dog spends large proportions of its afternoon by the door?  You'll have to go into more details to convince me that this is an example of morphic resonance, rather than a simple statistical likelihood.


[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#165)
by deadkarma on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 02:08:31 PM EST

I didn't want to go into details, but since it seems you are interested...

The music thing was strange because both were songs we were both listening to for the first time at nearly the same time. I'm not claming morphic resonance, I'm just pointing out that it was an incredible coincidence.

AS for the dog thing, my girlfriend is the one that noticed it, and I've never seen him sit or lie by the door while I was home.

[ Parent ]

Also: a brief rant on co-incidence and statistics (none / 0) (#151)
by spiv on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 05:02:11 AM EST

Or, discovered that on at least two occasions my girlfriend and I were listening to the same mp3 at the same time while we were at work.

Hello?  She's your girlfriend.  I'm hardly going to be surprised that you have similar music tastes.  I certainly am not going to pick something as ad hoc as "morphic resonance" as my #1 theory as to why it happened.

How about the all the times you were both facing north at the same time!  Ohmigod!

Find something extraordinary, then I might be inclined to believe you that it isn't simple chance.  So far all you've claimed as morphic resonance is just simple statistical noise.  

Just because a co-incidence happens, it doesn't mean that something mystical caused it.  Just as importantly: just because a co-incidence didn't happen, it doesn't mean anything either.  Think about all the co-incidences that could happen to you tomorrow: ringing your girlfriend at the exact same time as she rings you, A dog barking the moment you step foot on a crack in the concrete, and so on.  Compared to those that don't happen, an insignificant number do.

Show me something statisically significant.  Show me something that really is unlikely to happen ever, not just unlikely to happen today.  Then reproduce it. Then you've got the makings of a proof that a phenomena is real.

[ Parent ]

Any botanist around? (4.00 / 6) (#84)
by blamario on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:11:17 PM EST

What, if any, relation is there between this Salvia divinorum and Salvia officinalis, alias sage? I know sage has a significant place in European traditional medicine, but I never heard of any psychotropic effects?

Same thing, genus (none / 0) (#98)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:40:23 PM EST

Both of the plants you mention are species of the genus Salvia (Sage). They are related by a common ancestor that is common to all other plants of the genus Salvia. S. Divinorum (Diviner's Sage) contains the hallucinogens Salvinorin A, Salvinorin B, and Salvinorin C. Salvinorin A has been isolated and identified as the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen. It is not structurally related to any other known natural hallucinogens, nor is it found in any other species of plant or animal.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
yup =) (none / 0) (#131)
by majik on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 06:10:32 PM EST

It is not structurally related to any other known natural hallucinogens, nor is it found in any other species of plant or animal.

which is exactly why it isn't illegal yet here in the US.
Funky fried chickens - they're what's for dinner
[ Parent ]
keyword being "yet" (none / 0) (#138)
by phybre187 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:13:28 PM EST

I'm sure congress will get around to scheduling diterpines. This one just never raised a ruckus before. With the help of people such as the one who submitted this writeup of S. Divinorum, it should happen in no time. The article would have been worth more if the writer had just provided links to erowid and the lycaeum.

[ Parent ]
Spiritual quantum babble (4.00 / 10) (#85)
by bodrius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:14:10 PM EST

I'm all for people sharing their experiences with certain drugs and opposing their regulation if that's their opinion. But they would be best adviced to follow certain rules:

a) Drugs are not spiritual: not any more spiritual than getting drunk, dancing, smoking,  masturbating, giving alms or killing people.
   All of these have been considered spiritual with or without drugs. And drugs have been considered spiritual, and supremely non-spiritual.
   People have been using drugs, and doing all these things, for as long as there have been people. They use it sometimes in spiritual context, yet we do not use "spiritual nature" to excuse tobacco, alcohol, sex, charity, dance or murder from the legal framework.
   What we do is judge whether said activities should be illegal in their own merit, with a heavy bias towards legality. Therefore, although murder is considered illegal in general, alcohol and tobacco (voluntary intoxication) are regulated so as to avoid harm to non-users (and minors), and activities with no perceived dangers are unregulated. Drug-use should be judged under that same criteria.
   Stop screaming "spiritual enlightenment" whenever you feel "funny".

b) Quantum what? There's no way knowledge of physics helps you in a trip, unless you throughly and absolutely understand nothing of quantum physics.
   If your idea of quantum physics goes something like: "whoa, it's like, it's there, but not really there, but it's sort of there and not there at the same time, whoa!" then you do not understand what quantum physics is about.
   Unfortunately, way too many intellectuals who lost touch with science believe this version of quantum physics, with improved literary style. Particularly French and Latin American literary and philosophical schools... but if what you're reading confuses hologram with computer, and politics with virtual reality, stop reading Baudrillard and pretending it makes sense.
   We have yet to prove that the mind has any perception of quantum physics. As a matter of fact, we have very little reason to think so. We have very good reasons to think our classical physics derive from our mind, though, which would make it really hard for our brains to "go quantum", drugged or not.
   If you want to understand what your mind is like when you're tripping (or not), there are subjects more enlightening than quantum physics: psychology, mythology, symbology, and yes, philosophy.

c) Although I applaud the commitment to truth (or what the author thinks is truth), I hope someone realizes that saying that Salvia is such a potent psychotropic, "the most dangerous plant we have", with a high potential for a bad trip and amnesic effects... well, it doesn't exactly help to convince the Australian government it should NOT be regulated.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...

The quantim brain (none / 0) (#100)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:46:32 PM EST

There is some evidence that the brain (and consciousness itself) depends directly on quantum effects. Check this out.

Apparantly microtubules are small enough, in theory, to be affected by quantum forces. In addition, there is a visual similarity between microtubules and cellular automata. I remember reading something about MTs carrying information along their length by a cellular-automata-like system.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
Has nothing to do with it (none / 0) (#133)
by bodrius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 06:12:31 PM EST

The brain may be dependent on quantum effects... scratch that. The brain IS dependent on quantum effects, because all life is: without quantum physics, our chemistry doesn't make sense.

So what does this have to do with the physics that are modelled in the human mind? What does it have to do with your consciousness?

As humans, our organism depends on a lot of things that are not represented in our psychological makeup.

We depend on the growth patterns of stem cells. We depend on the general structure of DNA, and on chemicals that decompose and, through other reactions, reconstruct this molecule. We depend on hemoglobin carrying oxygen through our bloodstream to different tissues.

These are technical details of our body we are not aware of. We learn them through experience, they are not part of the core of our consciousness, they have almost no relationship to our consciousness, and they will not help us deal with an experience that alters our consciousness.

There is no quantum reality in your mind. It never offered an advantage in evolution.

Therefore, knowledge of quantum theory is as helpful to deal with a state of altered consciousness as a through knowledge of carpet-cleaning techniques.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

quaNtm quakery (none / 0) (#155)
by rur42 on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 08:34:19 AM EST

amen

[ Parent ]
Also by Jeffrey Satinover... (none / 0) (#134)
by Denizen on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 06:18:01 PM EST

Homosexuality is not genetic, but a sickness that can be cured!



[ Parent ]
It's not reality that's fucked (4.35 / 17) (#94)
by Eloquence on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:13:00 PM EST

It's your mind. Your drug is not a portal, for if it was a portal, why don't we get any visitors? The trip you're on is internal.

The feeling of "knowing" something is just the result of a specific pattern of brain activity. Like any pattern of brain activity, this pattern can be induced externally, simply by initiating a chemical reaction that leads to the release or inhibition of specific neurotransmitters. False memories can be implanted. Religious experiences can be created with the help of electrodes. Even feelings like being touched, held, or being afraid, or happy, can be induced. Read this.

Realize what this means: If you believe you truly, truly "know" something, that this knowledge comes from the universe itself etc., this doesn't have any relevance on whether it is or isn't the case. It just means that you have initiated a certain, arbitrarily reproducible pattern of neuronal activity.

With that in mind, let's think about drug consumption: You burn a plant and inhale the smoke - a completely trivial act. Unless you have completely lost your mind, you probably do not believe that these plants were "created" for the specific purpose of providing a "portal" to different realities. They evolved naturally and randomly. And random are their effects.

That doesn't mean that they aren't "strong", or not "real". Hallucinations per definition appear to be compellingly real. They are indistinguishable from reality, especially given your impaired reasoning capabilities under the influence of drugs (if your reasoning was functional, they would still appear to be "real", but you would know that they're not because you can realize cause and effect).

Experimenting with drugs is unlikely to give you valuable new insights. True, by randomly activating your neural pathways, you may create neuronal links that you would never have created otherwise. And you may activate the specific pattern of neuronal activity that makes you feel: "Wow, this is profoundly true". Unfortunately, as explained, this feeling is irrelevant.

As others have explained, it may be possible to gain insights by later carefully comparing and evaluating your worldview before and after the drug use, and trying to deduce what is and isn't a useful new idea. I do see the problem that the whole idea of doing so might be deemed irrelevant by your brain under the drug use, though. So I find the likelihood that mindfucking turns you into an irrational, postmodernist fool quite high.

It may still be a pleasant experience otherwise unattainable, but do not believe that you now have any "true" understanding. You do not understand quantum physics. You cannot travel to or obtain information from other universes. You can get high, but you can't fly. There is no mysticism or spirituality involved, unless you find the very concept of consciousness itself spiritual.

I consider use of potent hallucinatory drugs harmful and undesirable. But that's because I prefer to try to improve the world I live in. If I was a pure hedonist who doesn't give a shit about the suffering of others, I'd probably have a different attitude. But if you do give a shit, drug use is unlikely to help you help others, and might even result in the exact opposite.

The Question of Legality

All this reasoning doesn't mean that possession of these drugs should be made illegal. The War on Some Drugs, a social engineering project as much as a huge money-laundering operation, has destroyed thousands and thousands of families and lives, and done nothing to improve society. I do consider it a noble goal for government to take measures that effectively reduce the consumption of harmful drugs. Legalization without forethought would only lead to parallel mega-industries similar to the tobacco industry, where market selection would benefit those that develop the most addictive products. This would motivate companies to reduce the addictiveness of the drugs they sell, unlike the current situation, where tobacco companies are artificially increasing the addictiveness of cigarettes by adding so-called "boosters".

There should be education campaigns focusing on the most harmful drugs: tobacco, heroin, alcohol, cocaine etc. There should be significant limits to the size of businesses allowed to produce and sell drugs, and strict quality control. Drug advertising should be entirely prohibited. And most importantly, highly addictive drugs should only be sold to those who have a medical certificate proving their addiction.

Drugs with little effects of physical addiction but psychical effects should be sold on demand, but their consumption should be regulated in such a fashion that it would be criminal to consume a potentially behavior-altering drug without a "sitter", or perhaps only in certified locales. Otherwise you get cases like this one, where a Salvia user almost stabbed a partygoer to death under the influence of the drug.

But it should not be a crime to make a conscious decision to change your mind in potentially harmful ways. Of course, society should ask why someone would do that -- just like it should ask why teenagers cut themselves. But do we lock up those who cut themselves? Only if it helps to heal them. Also, if we wanted to prevent people from getting stupid, perhaps we should start with the most harmful idiot-drugs of them all: TV and religion ..
--
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Whoa bucko... "improving the world" (5.00 / 3) (#96)
by outlandish on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:38:12 PM EST

I consider use of potent hallucinatory drugs harmful and undesirable. But that's because I prefer to try to improve the world I live in. If I was a pure hedonist who doesn't give a shit about the suffering of others, I'd probably have a different attitude...

Hold up, friend. That's a fairly prejudicial attitude you're expressing there. While I'll be the first to agree with your assessment that playing the mindfuck game leads to impotent postmodern foolery, many people (myself included) make significant realizations or leaps in understanding via the use of consciousness altering chemicals.

A lot of these drugs can lead one to consider things one never really considered before. This can be either positive or negative depending on what is being considered; negative in the case of innane consciousness-looping (self-refferential postmodern foolery), or positive in the sense of truely expanded consciousness (e.g. release of prejudice, empathy with others, etc).

So I would argue that your "improving the world" rhetoric is unnecesarily incediary. Plenty of people who improve the world get a catalyst (a kick in the butt) through drug-induced realizations. Plenty more people waste a lot of time smoking pot and watching cartoons, getting further and further away from reality and any ability to act upon it. Your milage may very.


-------------
remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

I do not necessarily disagree (none / 0) (#130)
by Eloquence on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 05:57:18 PM EST

I postulate, however, that on average, there is more harm than good [*], and that the drug user cannot know before or after consuming the drug whether it will be or has been beneficial. Again, just because you feel you have gained insights, doesn't mean you have. Whether you have can only be reliably tested by others, not by yourself.

[*] Not referring to Cannabis here, but primarily to drugs like LSD and Salvia. I'm also not talking about bad trips here, which are another problem, I'm talking about whether the good ones are truly "good" ones.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Move sentence down (none / 0) (#129)
by Eloquence on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 05:51:02 PM EST

The sentence starting "This would motivate companies to reduce the addictiveness .." should be the last sentence of the paragraph following it.
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Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
just wondering (none / 0) (#169)
by felixrayman on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 12:41:13 AM EST

Experimenting with drugs is unlikely to give you valuable new insights

What evidence do you have for this belief?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
conflations and puritanism (none / 0) (#183)
by Walpurgis on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 01:54:43 AM EST

"Experimenting with drugs is unlikely to give you valuable new insights... "Wow, this is profoundly true"."

You conflate truth and insight here. Insight can also mean "wow, I've got a great idea"; "wow, that drawing is good"; "wow, that is how I really feel!"; "wow, that sex was great".

"mindfucking turns you into an irrational, postmodernist fool quite high."

You conflate postmodernity with idiocy. Sweeping statments like this do not help your argument.

"But if you do give a shit..."

You seem to be arguing that personal pleasure/experience has no place in a world for those who "give a shit". How will listening to music, having sex or eating a good meal help others? It might well hurt them too. Pass the sackcloth.

"I do consider it a noble goal for government to take measures that effectively reduce the consumption of harmful drugs."

But our governments have failed to do this. Also, what they consider harmful isn't what I consider harmful.

"Legalization without forethought would only lead to parallel mega-industries similar to the tobacco industry..."

Illegalisation without forethought has resulted in massive drug & drug related crime, misinformation (and death), impurity (and death), and the criminalisation of all those who choose to take some drugs.

"the most harmful drugs: tobacco, heroin, alcohol, cocaine etc."

Etc? Does this mean the most harmful drugs are all of them? Is lumping so many different drugs together at all useful?

Heroin isn't as harmful as you think. It is its illegal status that results in impurity/overdose and death.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/drugs/Story/0,2763,506559,00.html

"it would be criminal to consume a potentially behavior-altering drug without a "sitter".."

How could you enforce this law?

"Otherwise you get cases like this one..."

Sensationalism. Salvia didn't necessarily make this person do it. It is more like the person was already troubled and salvia provided a catalyst/excuse that would have eventually presented itself in some otherway. Maybe too many drinks, a violent videogame. You know the scapegoats.

"But it should not be a crime to make a conscious decision to change your mind in potentially harmful ways."

Please balance your argument. You forgot "potientially beneficial ways".

"I postulate, however, that on average, there is more harm than good"

Mere guesswork.

"the drug user cannot know before or after consuming the drug whether it will be or has been beneficial. Again, just because you feel you have gained insights, doesn't mean you have. Whether you have can only be reliably tested by others, not by yourself."

The same can be said of opening a book, watching a film, entering an art gallery, talking to a mystic/scientist... And how do others reliably test something if *they* have to rely on others to test it, woh is turn have to rely on others...

"..drugs like LSD and Salvia..."

Considering their vast chemical differences and effects, I'm amazed these are lumped together.

How often have you tried these "drugs"? How much of this argument was based on personal experience?

"I'm also not talking about bad trips here..."

Bad trips are caused by bad heads and bad contexts. The only bad trip I've ever had is a trip that didn't work.

"Pleasure is good"

Then so are some drugs.


www.violence.de

www.noumenal.net/exiles


[ Parent ]

I still don't see the benefit of drugs (none / 0) (#185)
by Eloquence on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 02:13:27 PM EST

You conflate truth and insight here. Insight can also mean "wow, I've got a great idea"; "wow, that drawing is good"; "wow, that is how I really feel!"; "wow, that sex was great".

Sorry, I wouldn't call that insight. I would call it changes of personal feelings. But you are free to apply your own definition.

You conflate postmodernity with idiocy. Sweeping statments like this do not help your argument.

I have yet to see a logical argument that postmodern thinking is anything but eloquent idiocy. Indeed, it is no coincidence that the CIA with its Congress for Cultural Freedom has supported primarily postmodernist thinkers in the post-WWII decades. They knew well that by creating and funding a movement that had absolutely nothing relevant to say, they could stop the socialist/progressive movement from growing too strong.

See: Who Paid the Piper by Frances Stonor Saunders
The postmodernism essay generator
Alan Sokal's excellent cultural experiment to expose "self-indulgent nonsense"

You seem to be arguing that personal pleasure/experience has no place in a world for those who "give a shit".

Not exactly. I just don't see pleasure as an end in itself. Feeling good is a state of mind that makes it more likely to be successful, and less likely to be frustrated by failure. Social bonds, which are strengthened by sex, allow more effective cooperation and promote empathy, which is both beneficial to overall progress. Relaxation is necessary after long periods of intensive work.

Repression of pleasure, on the other hand, contributes to violence, aggression, frustration and other irrational behavior. People who don't "give a shit" are or have often been emotionally/sexually repressed.

Drugs, on the other hand, are simply unnecessary. All the pleasure that we could ever want can be provided by our bodies, and hallucinations and the like are much more likely to cause harm than good.

But our governments have failed to do this. Also, what they consider harmful isn't what I consider harmful. [..] Illegalisation without forethought has resulted in massive drug & drug related crime, misinformation (and death), impurity (and death), and the criminalisation of all those who choose to take some drugs.

I agree with you.

Does this mean the most harmful drugs are all of them? Is lumping so many different drugs together at all useful?

Of course different drugs need to be treated differently. Nevertheless, I consider the drugs I mentioned sufficiently harmful to warrant regulation of their sale.

Heroin isn't as harmful as you think. It is its illegal status that results in impurity/overdose and death.

I am familiar with the history of heroin. It is, however, not only its illegality that causes the problems, but also the way it is consumed. Orally consumed, as it was before criminalization, it is harmless and not very habit-forming. Directly injected into the bloodstream, it is highly addictive. And all addictive substances should be regulated (yes, that should probably include caffeine).

How could you enforce this law? [requiring a sitter for some drugs]

Simple: If a person commits a crime under the influence of a behavior-altering drug, the sitter must be located. If one can be found and he has acted irresponsibly, he can be punished. If nobody can be found, the user is responsible and to be punished. (Note punishment does not necessarily mean jail. I don't have a better word here though.)

Salvia didn't necessarily make this person do it. It is more like the person was already troubled and salvia provided a catalyst/excuse that would have eventually presented itself in some otherway. Maybe too many drinks, a violent videogame. You know the scapegoats.

I fail to see how violent video games or too many drinks are better potential causes than salvia, especially since the user himself contributed the incident to the effect of the drugs and there is no evidence for the causes you cite. I get the impression you are willing to ignore evidence that contradicts your preconceived notion that the drug is harmless.

Please balance your argument. You forgot "potientially beneficial ways".

The benefits of drugs to society that I consider relevant are not significant. You are free to disagree -- we obviously have different moral philosophies.

The same can be said of opening a book, watching a film, entering an art gallery, talking to a mystic/scientist...

The effects of drugs on your brain are random. The effects of books, films, etc. are predictable. That's the key difference. You don't know what to expect.

Considering their vast chemical differences and effects, I'm amazed these are lumped together.

From the reports I've read, I consider the effects sufficiently similar.

How often have you tried these "drugs"? How much of this argument was based on personal experience?

None. My only drug-related experience is watching a family member gradually lose his reasoning skills and becoming increasingly unbearable because of them -- a personal experience I could gladly do without. Fortunately, he has recovered.

Bad trips are caused by bad heads and bad contexts.

Typical pro-drug propaganda. Please avoid such meaningless phrases.

[if pleasure is good] Then so are some drugs.

If there are no side effects, yes. However, in most cases there are. Keep this in mind: Drugs were not "created" and have not evolved to bring us pleasure. Their effects on our neurosystem are random, and sometimes, through trial and error, we find them to be positive, but we know far too little about what they really do to our brains.

The natural pleasure system of the human body, on the other hand, has evolved for the specific purpose of giving us pleasure. To instead use an unreliable, potentially harmful method to create pleasure is simply irrational.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

reply (none / 0) (#186)
by Walpurgis on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 05:36:44 AM EST

"Of course different drugs need to be treated differently. Nevertheless, I consider the drugs I mentioned sufficiently harmful to warrant regulation of their sale."

Agreed. Which means legalising them.

W "Salvia didn't necessarily make this person do it. It is more like the person was already troubled and salvia provided a catalyst/excuse that would have eventually presented itself in some otherway. Maybe too many drinks, a violent videogame. You know the scapegoats."

E "I fail to see how violent video games or too many drinks are better potential causes than salvia, especially since the user himself contributed the incident to the effect of the drugs and there is no evidence for the causes you cite. I get the impression you are willing to ignore evidence that contradicts your preconceived notion that the drug is harmless."

What I am saying here is that Salvia - in this case - may have been used as a scapegoat. Had this guy been playing a nasty game instead, that would have been the cause. These things are always simple cause and effect it seems...

"The effects of drugs on your brain are random."

Not really. they affect specific parts of the brain. Emplying specific rituals or just having experience with them also makes them more predictable.

"The effects of books, films, etc. are predictable."

Really? Then you must be watching some very dull films and reading some poorly written books.

"That's the key difference. You don't know what to expect."

And perhaps that is what one wants?

W "Considering their vast chemical differences and effects, I'm amazed these are lumped together."

E "From the reports I've read, I consider the effects sufficiently similar."

Then the reports are wrong.

W "[if pleasure is good] Then so are some drugs."

E "If there are no side effects, yes. However, in most cases there are."

Some of them very mild. Most pleasures have some negative consequences. Many are very slight.

"Drugs were not "created" and have not evolved to bring us pleasure."

Um... some have been created specifically for pleasure!

"but we know far too little about what they really do to our brains."

The problem is that we know far too little about the brain - period.

"The natural pleasure system of the human body, on the other hand, has evolved for the specific purpose of giving us pleasure. To instead use an unreliable, potentially harmful method to create pleasure is simply irrational."

Then you shouldn't engage in bodily/sensual pleasure either becuase these are also "unreliable, potentially harmful methods".

Walpurgis


www.violence.de

www.noumenal.net/exiles


[ Parent ]

The Debate Rages On... (4.20 / 10) (#95)
by outlandish on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:17:25 PM EST

I for one am glad that people here get into healthy debate about the merits of pro-drug postings. Balanced information is important for intelligent decision-making and it's well and good to inquire for both sides of the argument.

However, spiritual, normative or other overtones aside, people tend to enjoy "drug stories". I don't know why, except that they're interesting, the same way reading about strange and interesting alien cultures (real or imaginary) is interesting. I think entertainment value has more to do with their getting voted up than prostelyzation, so I wouldn't worry too much about a pro-drug slant here at k5.

Some people like to fiddle with their body chemistry; some people like to travel to Europe. They are both methods of gathering varied experience. They call it tripping for a reason. Both methods have their merits and their faults, but it really aught to be up to the individual to pick how they muddle their body chemistry and/or move through space and time. That is providing of course that they don't infringe on anyone else's ability to do the same. But that's a given.

IMHO the methods and intents behind eating something to alter your body/brain chemistry are probably more salient from a normative perspective than the act of eating itself. There are very few (I can't think of any) organic substances with psychotropic value that will chemically alter you in any lasting way from one or two uses. Repeated and heavy use of any drug (be it Ecstasy or Big Macs) will have an impact on your body and mind, but the act is undertaken with rigor, precaution and a little focused intention, the resulting psychological (or spiritual if you're that kind of thinker) realizations can be both valuable and long lasting. Before the pharmaceutical companies realized they were a colossal threat to their new cash-cows (at the time valium, today paxil), both LSD and MDMA underwent promising initial clinical trials for the treatment of many psychological ailments.

Of course, there are a whole other set of issues associated with amateur self-improvement via mind-altering substances... but it's hard to deny that these compounds are powerful.


-------------
remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

Using drugs. (4.40 / 10) (#110)
by blixco on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:15:13 PM EST

Boy oh boy oh boy. Drugs stories are becoming the new "protest the IMF" story here on k5.

If you don't like the drug stories, vote 'em down. If they get voted in, The People Have Spoken.

I mention in a reply somewhere down there that I can't understand the blanket condemnation that both drug users (and people OK with drug users) and anti-drug users (and people who are against all forms of drugs) apply to experiences such as this plant provides. There's no reason to judge someone based on the substances they take when, in fact, this has no effect on you or your life. Likewise, if you think everyone on the planet can benefit from just one hit, you're wrong. Some people don't get it, some people do. Apply that notion to either side.

Why the problems with drugs enhancing spirituality? Isn't spirituality just a hallucination of sorts to begin with? The same areas of the brain stimulated by the same basic neurochemistry = the same experience for the yogi as for the user. I think we're offended by the person who gets there without work or understanding. Maybe that's it: you can't be enlightened without all the prerequisite work and study.

Say, for instance, you could take a pill that would give you immediate, short term ability to do complex math, or to paint like any of the Dutch masters. Would those of you offended by the use of Salvia be offended by such a substance?

To say that this person has no right to claim an enhanced view of reality, quantum physics, or spirituality...how do you know? The author presents very little of their knowledge in this article (except in relation to use of Salvia). You don't know anything about this person or what they have learned from the drug, other than what has been said: it has helped to understand certain things, and cemented a belief in spirituality. Enlightenment is gained in far stranger ways in this society, yet we're OK with that (baptism, caffeine fueled studying, meditation, prayer, etc). Why is this method evil?

All in all, know that your perception is what defines your reality. If I could give you a method for changing your perception to the point that your reality was insigificant (temporarily), could you deny that the view from that perspective is powerful, and capable of changing a person? Could you say that the knowledge gained is useless?

I guess you could. And that's fine; it's your right to disagree with that which offends you. If you want to understand, though, you might be at an advantage to truly understand without applying your prejudices. Apply logic, maybe approach things with an open mind.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.

Don't blame the kid for his pseudoscience. (4.28 / 7) (#112)
by Perianwyr on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 02:33:27 PM EST

It's the only language that we have for the ecstatic now.

Just as you can say an old incantation without knowledge of its roots and meaning, you can spout out babbling jargon from a branch of the sciences you don't understand.

The nature of reality, however, is the responsibility of each being who lives within it to unravel.

Remember that many of the hardest sciences of all wander off into what most would consider mysticism, as we're beginning to play with possibilities that Western language does not even allow.

Had I been viewing stories at the time, I would have voted this -1 with a strong recommendation to heavily edit the personal experience part, and leave those who simply deny the existence of ecstatic experience- except, of course, through "approved" channels- to state it baldface.

The crap that spirituality is not. (4.28 / 7) (#120)
by xenthar on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:01:21 PM EST

Most people here on Kuro5hin are concerned about the world, I believe. I hope you agree with me that, at the moment, the direction humanity is going is disastrous for the planet, with no signs of improvement. According to the WWF, already one third of the natural world - forests, wetlands, etc - is gone, and the depletion rate is not likely to decrease any time soon.

Some put their faith in science, and hope that by technological advances or maybe even social insights we will find the means to divert the ever looming disaster. But any potential solution will still have to be adopted by the world. It will cut the profits of some large industries, and this world is ruled by their spokesmen who are rather familiar with the concept of personal gain. These leaders are a part of our society, are created by our society, and unless society itself, or, similar, the average conciousness of the people it consists of, changes dramatically, it is not likely that anything will really change about our governments.

And here we are, all very concerned about this, doing our best to make ourselves and the general public aware of these and other problems, trying to get to the core of it in order to find a solution. So we all agree that general awareness would be a good thing, right?

This is exactly what 'spirituality' is all about. Why don't you 'rational' people out there drop the 'it reeks of religion' and 'stop bothering me with your wacko illusions' attitude for a moment and see what it has to offer.

Spirituality is about

  • thinking for yourself instead of mindlessly accepting the teachings of your society.
  • not letting others decide who you want to be.
  • not being ashamed of who you are, even though society tells you to. If you have seen something about yourself you don't like, and you want to change that, then awareness works much better than shame.
  • raising your level of conciousness by experiencing life. (Is there another way?)
  • getting to the core of things, looking at things how they really are, including yourself
  • accepting reality and then trying to change it, instead of denying the things you don't like about the world.
  • accepting yourself and then trying to change it, instead of denying the things you don't like about yourself. If you do not know where you are now, how do you know which direction to go to reach your goal?
  • leading by example. Proclaim yourself. Show who you are. Lead, and people who like your ways will follow.
  • realizing that you can play any role you want in life, you can be whoever you want to be.
  • looking all your vices in the eye and then just leaving them behind, bit by bit.

And yes, it is also about

  • knowing that All is One. Tell me, how hard would it be to love your neighbour when you believe this to be true?
  • love is everything
  • life is holy
  • acknowledgeing that the human mind is capable of anything. Let's activate those unused braincells!
  • the endless possibilities arise :)
These last items then are of the silly non-realistic kind. But let's see what our beloved Einstein had to say about the matter:

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty... We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive."

So, Mr. Science-has-nothing-to-do-with-that-crap, think again.

I have been reading the three books by N.D. Walsch titled "Conversations with God", which are not religious in the sense of the bible at all, and I advise anyone to do the same. It doesn't matter if you don't believe any of this shit. Read the books, believe nothing, but read and think. Everybody will find useful insights in there. When you are done, then criticize spritituality.

Greetings, Bart.



-- Conciousness is contagious. Work on improving yours, it will affect the world.
Spirituality (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by 5s for Everyone on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 06:07:09 PM EST

This does not seem to me like a very accurate definition of spirituality. It's more like simply an assumption of morals or a set of goals. I think that you are simply quibbling with definitions here, and I certainly wouldn't agree with your particular all-encompassing definition of "spirituality".
--
There is Damezumari in the Bamboo Joint
[ Parent ]
Salvia Divinorum pests. (4.00 / 2) (#132)
by RofGilead on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 06:11:42 PM EST

Hello, I've had a healthy growing salvia divinorum plant for a while. It's a little over 2 years old now, a pretty old age for this kind of plant. However, its suffering from an infestation of white flies. I've tried using soapy water sprays, I've tried killing the white flies by hand, I've tried neglect :)... Anyone know how I can get rid of these damned white flies? They are killing my plant, which means alot to me, this plants been cared for by me daily for two years and I am quite attached.
Any botanists out there with advice, please help!
<Rant on> My care of this plant is for mostly one reason, I don't want to see this species go extinct, which it was about to happen before people "discovered that it was hallucinogenic". I, and several others have attempted to use the leaves for psychedelic purposes, and at best the experience is mild. Perhaps an extracted form would be better, but pretty much the plant known as Salvia Divinorum is surrounded by equal parts myth and hype. Atleast it helped keep a plant from going extinct. <Rant off>

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon

Pest management (none / 0) (#157)
by jolly st nick on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 09:26:52 AM EST

You should probably look on some gardening sites or groups for tips. You may be able to adapt some organic formulations that people use (e.g. the nicotene-garlic-detergent formulation some use on roses). Other non-toxic techniques that work are companion plantings. These can either be plants that are noxious to pests and repel them (marigolds) or ones that attract the pests away. When I have nasturtiums in the garden, the pests tend to congregate on them, and I just nip off the infested flowers and toss them into the gas grill. I'm a rather indifferent gardener myself, but you can no doubt get better advice if you have a really good garden center nearby. Tell them you have an herb garden that is infested with white flies (you can even bring a sample to show them). They will be able to recommend non-toxic control strategies that will work.

[ Parent ]
DMT might be worth a look too (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by Phillip Asheo on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:34:06 PM EST

DMT seems to be another one of these spiritual drugs. Its endogenous to the human brain, so its totally "safe".

keeping it legal is going to be a battle in the next few years

A battle that will almost certainly be lost IMO. Its a pity, but thats the breaks.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long

its not suggest that you do DMT (none / 0) (#147)
by strlen on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:38:24 AM EST

its not suggested that you do DMT unless you've had tons of experience with similar drugs. the trip can be very scary to a novice.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
i think he means do not (none / 0) (#163)
by sleepyBrett on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 12:39:05 PM EST

i think the poster has a typo

_
b

[ Parent ]

Great Article. (2.50 / 2) (#164)
by vile on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 01:30:27 PM EST

I loved it... but you gotta deal with reality here man. Drugs = bad.. or so we are taught. Salvia is a great experience.. one that I thoroughly suggest to partake in. Some don't like it. But never the less, it is 'morally wrong' to alter one's perception, reality by way of an outside chemical... unless it is prescribed, of course. If it isn't already, it will be among the b.s. schedules just like pot, here in the Great United States of America. Welcome to Reality. Gotta love it.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
Wrong like... what? (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by Ahab2K on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 11:12:06 AM EST

The other day in an AP Wire column in the NYTimes, I saw that the US Gov't is stepping up efforts to catch drug smugglers in planes. Two articles down, people got unsolicited, month-long samples of Prozac in the mail - people who never had Prozac subscribed. Talk about hypocrisy. Let's continue: caffeine alters perception, nicotene alters perception, alchohol alters perception. Purtanism over drugs is not based on underlying facts about drugs. Legitmate outlawing of drugs would be based on historical and cultural factors. Instead, drug laws are based on a mishmash of racist medival Christian beliefs and outright lies.

That being said, there are good reasons to control their use. Naturally, once you make them illegal, you can't control their use. I'd forbid opiates to anyone under 65. I'd make psychedelics legal for those over 18. If you're 80 yrs old and arthritic, what long-term harm can come from smoking opium? On the other hand, if you are under 18, what are the chances you are ready for the reality-fuck of psychedelics?

Try salivinia before it's made illegal. It's inevitable. For one, it's a "native" and introspective drug, not a factory-worker's drug. For another, what is a baby boomer's definition of drug use? Well, yes, we did it, but it was different then; now we gotta save you from making the same mistakes we made by throwing you in jail and taking away your college loans.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 0) (#181)
by vile on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 09:24:59 PM EST

I can see that.. I loved the analogy of prozac.. big pharmaceutical.. hey, but they make the big dollars for the law makers... right? What have drug smugglers ever done for our country!??! :) There's also the thought that the legalization of say, marijuana since it is the closest in the 'race', just may wipe out a big income for a lot of people. Value would decrease.. poverty would increase.. that kind of stuff. Then you also have to wonder how the big co's would be affected.. isn't that the reason for its initial illegality? I may be mistaken. Then consider the state versus federal war... aside from money... isn't that what a lot of this boils down to? Politics? Control? or was it Ethics and Morals? I really can't tell the difference anymore.

It's a nice gesture from the boomers to act as our parents, to attempt to save us from harming ourselves.. even in light of what era the boomers come from.. but I grew up a few years ago.. and what I do in my home, on my own time, and of infliction to myself and no others... is really my business.. and noone has the right to take that right from me... regardless of intention.. ;)

nice writing...

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
No tiger-shots on the golf course of life. (4.50 / 2) (#166)
by Fran Spy on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 02:40:23 PM EST

I think I am drawn to halucination-inducing drug-stories because in every case the person refers to some form of 'mind-expansion'. I really appreciate it when someone consciously realises that each individual is responsible for his own intellect and the value of increasing your frame of reference. But I think that mind-expansion should, well, chiefly involve the mind and not outside influences.

I believe there is no shortcut to enlightenment, contentment or happiness. It's a long, hard slog in which the harder you work at it the greater the rewards. Using chemicals to alter your brain's chemistry is an attempt at one of these short-cuts, and while you may arrive at some destination in double-quick time, I'm pretty sure it's not the destination you intended to when you set out. However, just the fact that you've gotten somewhere is so pleasing you forget about the initial goal. This article also falls victim to the paradox where writers encourage so much ideological thought but then contradict themselves by resorting to incognitive methods.

If I'm on my deathbed and I still haven't experienced an incredible mystical, spiritual experience, I will at least know I have done all I could in this reality. But however, if I do achieve enlightenment through analysing my own consciousness in a conscious manner (not impossible, even though every tripper would have you believe it), I will have gained something that the users of drugs like Salvia wouldn't have - credibility within my own experience.

'I'm sick to death of the inarticulate hero' - John Fowles
outside influences? (none / 0) (#168)
by mbmccabe on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 08:30:23 PM EST

What is life if not outside influences?

Never heard of this plant before, but it is a plant.  Couldn't be more natural than that.

Lots of people subsist by only eating plants.

So you happen to find a plant that has an influence on you that's more positive that simple nutrition...how can that be deemed as a bad thing without debate?

Enlightenment doesn't happen in a vaccuum.

If it did, enlightenment would never happen because there's never going to be such a vacuum.

Your mileage may vary.   Good luck!

[ Parent ]

The 'It's natural man' argument (none / 0) (#174)
by Fran Spy on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 02:11:39 PM EST

Quite frankly, I don't get this. There are plenty of poison's occuring naturally, but you don't say 'that's OK' because they are natural? This line of reasoning has only cropped up recently, since humans started creating substances themselves, but the question has been around for ages. If I had lived a few hundred years ago, I would probably have employed the same argument as I did in my post, but the argument you used would have been futile, so I don't really see how the source of the drug being natural matters.

Yeah, life consists of outside influences - I prefer to choose my influences,with intellectual stimulation in mind from books, music, movies - instead of mind-altering chemicals.

For the 'positive experience' bit, I can fully understand how that can be true - I've had lots and lots of really great experiences while influenced by some or other stimuli, but I have had even greater positive experiences through sheer reasoning, so I can easily put it into perspective (even though admittedly I have never taken such a strong substance as Salvia).

Anyway, as you say, with both types of approaches, mileage may vary, I just believe people using drugs for enlightenment are using a Ferrari with one tank of gas, while I'm on a bicycle, but it's all up to me how far I go.



'I'm sick to death of the inarticulate hero' - John Fowles
[ Parent ]
some responses (none / 0) (#187)
by mbmccabe on Sat Oct 26, 2002 at 03:56:31 AM EST

1)  most poisonous plants are not illegal
2)  that the plant is naturally occuring was not material to my point except to demonstrate the likely innocence of it's discovery and use.
3)  the point is that the effects from its use are obviously positive, or as with so many plants with bad side-effects it would have been abandoned from the human diet completely.
4)  the implication of the point is that whether you choose to engage in this or that particular activity of this nature (innocuous) it should be for *you to legally decide* rather than being decided for you.

[ Parent ]
Top article - audience missing the point? (4.00 / 2) (#180)
by knutzen on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 01:22:10 PM EST

Ok, I'm a long time lurker but felt the urge to throw in my two cents on this one.

This story can easily be taken as "just another drug advocacy spiel" but, I mean... isn't that kinda throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

I enjoyed the story and it heartened me. Why? Because I'm happy to know that there are other human beings out there in the world who are willing to experience different things and find different views on the world and communicate them and be honest and really deal with, well, life.

There's no big exam at the end of it. We won't be tested on our philosophical and political correctness when we die. If I read of someone who's taken whatever drugs and achieved some sort of happiness through that then I'm all for it.

Whatever cranks your nads, baby. Live and let live, that's what I say.

Happiness is the end and the means are up to us.

What other goal do we have in life?

knutzen

vapourisers (1.00 / 1) (#182)
by Walpurgis on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 07:40:55 PM EST

Can anyone provide links (preferably to UK sites) for good vapourisers?

Can anyone ocmment on http://www.high-land.co.uk/acatalog/THC_Aromed_Vapouriser_48.html

Many thanks


www.violence.de

www.noumenal.net/exiles


An Ancient Reality Modification Device | 189 comments (163 topical, 26 editorial, 0 hidden)
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